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FORM 3427-4500- 



^ r .^3 I2TH AHD CASTRO STS., OAKLAND. g±^53 ^ + 

-^ )~^^Ii> BS7 COJniEHUIAL ST., S. K. Ui-jJ^."-* _ 


gar ; ' * ^feSs^L . 

^> . /' Ls» -v* 




T.. ,c.l« OF TH, 5 M«P «Ve> MUCH B-IMD HUM KOTT.H TO SOUTH, in O..ER 

on Wind Currents. 


IK preparing the historical part of this work we nr in- 
debted for valuable information furnished on different sub- 
jects to Gen. J. W. Boat, Mark Howell, Esq. Hon. J. W. 
Uertson, E. T. Dixon, Mrs.E. G. Stee!e, L. P. Beckwith, 
Harry Chapman, Esq., and many others. 

To the editors of the to^rm and >ff«* onr thanks are 
especially dne for the use of files of their respective journals 
HLh we found invaluable in fixing many dates of important 

BV We must not fail to acknowledge many acts of encourage- 
ment and for documentary matter furnished by the several 
county officers. They have assisted us in many ^ 

Owing to the transitory state of society during he eall) 
days of California, it is impossible at this comparatively re- 
mot e period, to fix the exact dates of many eccurrences. 01 
to get at the full truth of the matter . 

Gatheringnews of early events is very unsatisfactory . An 
■Jd pioneer will enlarge by the hour W******™ 

will aeree. Each will nave a iuu« 

twu ufcieo. » was there at the 

the affair, and positively affirm it, as ne 
time." Special care has been taken, ^^\ & ~ 
■ j «- flatter ourselves that, m the main, 

discrepancies, and we hatter oui 

for articles found floating about, or sent to us and have 

— — frrxr^^s^ 

h r 7 ^C can b- originality in the facts of history. 

of a Stateor Country. We have therefore given considerable 
space to the biographical department, which contains very 
JLh of interest. A few years from now it will be often st 
perused, for people delight to read of the pioneers of a 
ountry and of their trials. Each sketch contains some .ce- 
dents of pioneer life, or some facts relative to the county, 
its soil, mode of cultivation, variety of crops, manner of har- 
ts I average production of different localities, and sini- 
Uar information not easily separated from the personal 

t ul es the most important features of Merced county, as pre- 
Zed in residues, farms and business. It -once ed 
that every handsome residence, good business block, or im 
h ; 0T d farm is a monument to the taste and prosperity 
the community in which they are situated, and no written 
description alone can adequately portray them to the world 
ol task has been to endeavor to reproduce these features, 
to make history by pictures as well as byword,. 

Tutbook is illustrated, as may be seen at 
J^of the chief residences and ranches « *. «£ ** 


fliA rmmtv omcers appeal, ^ . 

the county . ". is oa U e d to the frontispiece, in 

, 0U1 ' T'lZ retgrnantr toward our enterprise, 
the cordial god Jeehng aml support which can 

having received horn them intelligent people. 

on ly be expected among prosperous ^^JJ^ 





Atwatar, M*nh»U l» 

'.|.,.|. jorth, '■■■. il .1.1 

Botes, B. ■■■ 

r John W 

i'.iii ii Hi', W. a. ..... 

a, Silma, 

B ■ , i. ■>■■ it. . . 

.1. x ■ >l I J ■ . 

Boffbm, B. W. 

Buffum ft Stockton, 

Black, a G 

Bridal Veil Fnlli. 
Cflthey. Andrew. ■ 
■: ...iii .■_■■ c - alley 
Chamberlain, A 
Court Houses. 
'■i lonnopolitan" Sal i. 

I ■iM.l.ll^ll-UII. Ji ■* 

Cunningham, John 

Chandos, B. C 

Crittenden, J. L. . ■ ■■ 

i '.,, politan Hotel 

Dean, T. C 

Danlton, H. C. 

Dickenson, G. W. . . 

Dewey, Henry — 

Dickenson's Ferry 

Duncan Mine 

Burl, Unhurt 

El Capiton Livery 

Eureka Mine 

Evergreen Farm.. 

Bfaprm Office 

Furman, Ell 

Ferrel, W.J 

Pahey, William 

Fitzhugh Ranch 

FallB lit the Merced River. 

Firebangh'a Ferry 

Grimes, I. C 

Griffith, Dr. J 

Gang Plows. 

Crimes, EU 

Givens, Thomas 

Givena, S. S 


. U 
. 76 



. .209 


. 168 

I tontiflpia c 


. 40 


. 84 






. 84 

. HO 


;■..,.. . . ■■ - ■ 

Miller. Henry 

Merrill. Peter 
\\. i lenathan, M. ■ 
M..rl.v. .1- W. 

■ | . ey, J. H.. - ■ 

■. . - i ; - 

Marr.i ■ CI 

■.; ilia. 

Merced Bank. 

Merced ■ 
Nelson ft Son. 

\.'l i.O. C 

m'a Mill ■■ - ■---■ 

I 0"Donncll, John - 

Orirander, H. J 

| Pi1U.ii-. James 

p&gn Farm ......-■ - 

Price, Thomas 

Pi uegar, G. R 

Pate, F. M. ■ ■ 

Pillansfc Barrett 

Ramsey, Thomas -I ■■■ 

Reynolds, R 

Rosenthal, A. 

Rose ''"tt. '■:•■■ 

Ranoh f w. II Hartley 

Raynor, William M 

Ryan, P 

Silman, W. L 

■Spears, S. K. -- • - 

Smith, John C 

Stoddard, E. M 

Scott, Col. Samuel 

Steele, Robert J 

Stoneroad W. P ■ -. ■ ■ - : 

San Joaquin ami Kings River Canals 

Shepherd's Home. 

Stockton, Nathaniel S 

Stoneroad, W. P. & Company 

Steele. Mrs. R. G 

Stoneroad, N. B 

Stevenson, J. J 

Smith, Augustine 

Scheeline, R 

Tuolumne Hotel. 

Turner, J. A 

Texas Ranch 

Traveling Thresher ^ 

Turner W. B ™ 

Turner, William C-. J» 

Thornton, H ; ' ' gg 

._ Upton, Thmnas „„„ 

212 Vaneless Windmill ■ _, 

lliO ' Wilson, R. M ** 

Wh( it, Job 

.. ft A.. 


Adams, James C "5 


\V. B. 





. 11 




.■J I -J 


. 24 






. 44 


. . 14 



. .209 


. . 92 


.. 24 

. .-2] 6 

.. 48 


Boat, Hon. J. W . 
[35 Bibbj , Nicholas. . . 

HO i . cter, Robert - . 

Dixon, B. T 

Daulton, H. 0. 

Farrar, Frank H. . . 

Howell, Mark H 

Lander, Andrew. .. 

McSwain, J. F. . . 

Moons, W. L 

1 ; M any, A. .1 

» Quigley, W.J 

Bobertaon, Hon. J. 
j Simonaon, John H. 

! Sutter, John A. .. . 

; Stoneroad, N. B. . 

Smith, John C. ... 
Steele, Mrs. R. G. . 


. S 


. 12 

. 10 
. 9 
. 4 

. 1 23 
. 60 
. 32 
. 68 
- 60 
, 89 
. .208 
. 36 
,. 14 
. . SI 
. OS 


. .190 
. .. 2d 
... 53 
. . . 126 
.. 211 
. . . 103 




Alcalde Colton and the Miner 

Bridal Veil Falls 

Colton Hall 

Grizzly Adams 

( iolden Gate .... 

(i rist Mills of Early Settlers 

Indian Sweat House • 

Monterey in 1846 

Plow of the Natives 

San Francisco Bay, 1769 

San Francisco Bay, 1846 

San Juan Mission 

Sonora Mission ^ 

Spanish Ox-cart - ■ ■ ■ ■ 

San Joaquin River by Moonlight 

Steele, Mrs. R. G ; 

Sutter, Gen. J. A. (portrait) 

Sutter's Mill •■ • 

State House, Sun Jose, 1849 

Tuolumne Big Trees 

. 01 
! 63 
. 13 
. 27 
. 33 
. 23 
. 15 
. 47 
. 17 

. 57 
. 65 

Givens, E. T 

Hartley, W. H j™ 

Harris, Bros 

Healey, H. C 

Healy, E. W 

Kuhl, Adam 

Kocher, Jacob. 

Kelsey, EraatUH 

Kuril"* Sun 



Charts Showing Wind Currents 

Charts Showing Size of Counties 

Diagram of Rain-fall in State 

Diagram of Artesian Well - 

Diagram of Table Mountain ..... , 

Map of the State 

Map of Merced County 

Adobe Houses • " ' si 

A Primitive Ferry ° 

Alcaldes as Judges g - 

A Primitive Court „. 

Alkali Soil • , i- 

Attacked by Indians (Stoneroad) ."-i ' 'si 

Artesian Wells 171 

Alkaline and Adobe Soils 

Amount of Land Irrigated 

Animals of the County 

Arrival of Captain Sutter 

A Speck of Gold 

Alcalde Meets iheMiuer 

Agricultural Statistics 

Birds of the Valley 

Bonds when Due 

Biographical Sketches 

Botany of Merced County 

Beautiful Floral Scene 

Bands of Wild Elk 

Bear Flag War 

Biographies of Pioneer Settlers 

Big Trees of Mereed Grove 

.. " — Their Discovery - 

■• " Mariposa Grove 

■■ " Fresno Grove 

IS-) 6 . 


.87, 88 

.. 6 
.. 69 
... 4 
.. 5 








. 46 



Churches of Merced County 

Cause of Hot Northwest Winds -"» 

Cost of Producing Crops '« 

Cbowchilla Canal - ' ' 

Climate of Merced County. - ■ "» 

Cause of West Side Being Dry -"* 

Chester Village ' 

Cotton Culture 

Combined Header and Thresher 

Cosmopolitan Saloon. . - 

Condition of the Valley 

County Seat Contest 

" " 2d Locations 

Condition of Court House, I860 

Court House Bonds Issued. S: 

" Erection and Dedication o-> 

Capabilities of Merced County ■« 

Cattle Stampedes „ 

" Raising (Stoneroad) j* 6 

Cemetery Association ][)(( i 

Crinunal Rsocrds. L " -.;. i 

Comparative Size of Counties "J 

Cosmopolitan Hotel or'iirI 

County Officers 00 > "° 

Description of Sutter's Fort ' • 

Dos Palos Canal. ■--,••■■•■ .,„, 

. Direction of Winds in Valley ^ 

j Dickenson's Ferry .J.1 

Dixon's School Report ijj 

DeadB,i-'3rs _ _ " 88 

Diagram of Ram-fall q 

Decline ot Various Missions > 

Dairying in Early Times r> 

Donner Party, 1S46 Ij, 

Discoveries of Gold 61 

Deserted Mines llg 

Dover Village 

Early Mining Days . . - . ■ „ 

Events of Twenty Years Ago ^ 

Extent of San Joaquin A alley >™ 

Early Stages and Express ' 

Extent of Timber Belt 1DJ 

Effects of Irrigation <., 

Extensive Wheat Fields •£ 

ElCapitan Hotel. „ 

Early Discoveries oi Gold • - ■ ■ 

" Emigration Societies 

Financial Condition of Jounty J0J 

Furmers' Canal Company.- ■ ,„ 

FarniiugTen Years Ago (Kabl) | 

Fight With a Grizzly (Givena) . . - ^ 

Fiddletown, now named (Reynolds) ^ 

Fight Under Bear Flag. 

Fremont's Journey Through Merced ... . . .-../» 

First White Person in Jan Joaquin Valley. 

" Teachers' Convention 

" Board of Education 

" Settlers Kept Near the Coast 

White Woman in Camp 

Impression of the Valley 

Irrigation in California. 

Information about Yo Semite 

California Legislature . . - 

Cast Plow and Miner's Pick 

English Historian 

Indian Baptism 

Ferry-boat on Bay... .£-- 

Settler in San Joaquin Valley. . .... 

Settlement in San Joaquin Valley. . 

Pioneer Squatters Z~ 

Windmill in State •■ „. 

American Resident of San Francisco 31 

Saw-mill Erected.... • .„ 

Settlement North of Sacramento ^ 

Grindstones Manufactured 

Protestant Worship 

. 77 
. 03 
. 46 
. 31 
. 18 
. 29 
. 35 
. 41 







First American Governor.. . 

" Wheat Bowd (Griffith) 

Roaring Mill " 

" Ni-v. Ipapei in County 

■■ County Officer! 

•■ Omity Seat 

'- Court House 

•• Grand Jnry 

" Irrigating Canal 

" Hotel in Merced City - ■ 

" Bchool " ' 

" PoBtmaater*' " 

" Bank Organized - ■ 

■■ fire Company Organized 

•• Hotel in the County --•-■ 

•* Alfalfa. Orchard ami Vineyard 

" Well Dug on Plains 

Grand Jury Tree °' 

" «f ISfW _ >&* 

. . . .220 




. 80 
. 87 

of 1863. 

Grapes and Vineyards 

Geology of Merced County. 
Glaciers nf the Sifirras 

Mariposa Receives its Name •• ^ 

" Chief Attraction _„ 

" Topographical Features °» 

" First Settlers. ^ 

Merced City Described. „ f 

" County Organized ■ • £J 

" Declared the County Seat. . 

'' Bottom -Lands 

Merced Tribune 

" people. 

" Express 

" Star 

Miller & Lux Irrigation Works. 

( ' " Ranch 

Merced Bank 

Merced Security Bank — 

Marshall's Discovery of Gold. . . 

Merced Falls 

" Flouring Mills 

" Woolen "' ■ • - 


Newspaper Enterprises 
Native Flowering Plant: 

GeoKraphical Features 

Great Mountain Ranges 

Grand Rush for the Gold Mines. 

Glance at Early History 

Cold -dust refused by Merchants. 

History of Merced County 

Harvesting Scene in Merced 

Habits and Life of Aborigines.. 
Hardy Pioneers. 

i ; i ■ 

Hopcton Village 

Indians of Merced County . 

. 12 
. . 58 
19, 131 

Race Disappeared 

of San Joaquin in 1848 »- 

Sweat House 
■' Digger Tribe.. 

•' Mewoc Nation °-J 

" Walla Tribe |» 

'■ Habits and Custom:. loo 

'• Few in the Valley 77 

" at Knight's Ferry Job 

" Not Warelike J°' 

'■ Method of Fishing ]^7 

Indian Chief Manuel J™ 

" at a Feast |«° 

" Chief Jerez {*» 

" Ten-ie-ya l9 *- 

" Shameful Murder ] j>3 

Irrigation in Merced County I/O 

Irrigating Canals ' " 


Improved Headers (Dewey) 

Important Mining Locality 

Inducement Offered Settlers 

Ktnadom of Miller & Lux 

Kocher's Store 

Large Threshing Operations (Earl) 
" Band of Goats 

Lack of Irrigation 

Los Baflos Village 

Mariposa County Describ*""' 

Morcnd River ■ 

Mariposa Creek 

Moraga Visits the Valle; 

. 85 
. 96 
. S3 

. 74 
. 77 

. 97 
. 57 
. . 65 
.. 72 
. . 76 

_ lants 
Noted Legislature 

Navigable StreamB. 

Oldest Merchant in Merced 

One Pioneer Remained 

One of First Merchants (Stoneroad) i 

Oak Trees in Merced Z1 * 

Pioneers of Merced County 131 

Pleasant Home Scene *** 

Principal Streams in Merced 1»{ 

Primitive Inhabitants of Merced lol 

Pre-historic Remains « -Jj° 

Strange Animals . '3 

Scott's Farm Described 

Secret and Benevolent Societies 

Silman's Stage Line 

Sheep-Raising (Stoneroad) 

" " (Daulton) 

Supervisors Indicted. . 

Siroccos or Burning Winds. . . . 

Source of the Sau Joaquin 

Society on the Stanislaus (Miller) 

Schools of Merced County 

School Superintendent's Report in 18i..; 


. 98 



Period of Ice and Snow. . . 
Productions of the County 

Patrons of Husbandry 

Principal Rivers 

Plow Used by Natives 

Pioneer Lumberman 

.... 11 
.... 23 
.... 30 

Pioneer Merchant of Merced 11* 

Pioneer Party Arrive, 1841 *1 

Pioneer Toils and Privations 40 

Pioneer Party of 1S43^1 * 3 

Plainsburg Village US 

Rodeos, or Cattle Gatherings 92 

Rainy Season 203 

Rainfall at Merced -00 

Rich and Productive Soil 11 

Railroad EnterB the Valley 98 

Rapid Increases in Wealth 99 

Rates of Taxation 10° 

Rain-fall Tables 203, 205 

Remarkable Predictions ot a Pioneer 37 

Rush for tlie Gold Mines 59 

Review of the Golden Era 60 

Removal and Location of the Capital 65 


. ... 19 


... 90 

.. .73 

Rapid Increase in Population 

Rich Men of 1793 

Suelling Village Located 

Size and Location of Merced County 

Sau Joaquin River Discovered 

" " Valley Aryu» 162 

" " Valley Described 165 

" " Origin of Name 167 

Soil and Alluvium 

School House of Merced City 

San Joaquin Valley Explored. -9 

Strange Meeting on the Merced £$ 

Settlers Ordered to Leave California 32 

Scenes in the Early Courts 44 

Settlers Form a Government 47 

Settlers Organize their Forces *9 

Strange and Eventful Dream 55 

Sale of the Missions 22 

Spanish Ox-cart and Mill 25 

Scenes of Festivity and Gaiety 24 

Sutter's Fort Located • - ■ • *« 

Sutter's Mill Located. 50 

Scenes in the Gold Mines. .- 61 

State Lands, How Divided 68 

"Twenty Years Ago" J23 

Trials of Early Miners (Scott) 1J2 

Three Irrigating Periods 173 

Temple Slough Canal 177 

Temperature and Comfort -v- 

Thermal Belt 213 

Temperance Societies 103 

Two Important Events 57 

Timber Forests of State 72 

Threshing Scene of Early Days 24 

Threshing Scene of Modern Days 93 

Threshing as Done by Russians 27 

Toulumne Hotel 1J5 

Table of Upper California Missions 19 

" " Population of Mission 20 

" ,; Number of Missions in 1802 21 

■' Contrast of Missions, 1S34 to 1842 21 

• ' Final Disposition of Missions 22 

■' " Altitude of Places 67 

'' " Census of the State 67 

•• Agricultural Production 68 

" " Wealth and Rise of Counties 69 

" Comparative Price of Wheat 71 

Valuable Farm Inventions (Baxter) 150 

Vote on Comity Seat SS 

Visit to a Beautiful Home (Scott) 133 

Valuation of Property 10 ° 

Wild Cattle of the Plains (Wheat) 140 

" Elk " " " (Turner) 143 

" Berries, Fruits and Roots 127 

W aste of Water in Irrigation 1 69 

Winds of the Valley 139 

Washington Hall Erected H* 

Yosemite — Who Discovered It 227 

" How to Reach It 228 


Atwater, Marshall D 9*. 1*7 

Anplcgarth. William joS 

Bates, S. C ll - 

Bost, Hon. John W 125, 129 

Burnside, W. A }*9 

Bowman, Silas Job 

Baxter, Robert ]™ 

Buffuin, E. W 161 

Black, A. G \l° 

Bibby, Nicholas &' 

Blackburn, Josephine 104 

Cathcy, Andrew 122 

Cunningham, James loo 

Cunningham, John 158 

Crittenden, J. L. . - \f> 

Cosmopolitan Hotel Ho 

Dean, T. C I* 5 

Dixon, E. T }*9 

Daulton, Henry lo 6 

Dickenson, George Winchester 139 

Dickenson, Gallant Duncan - 139 

Dewey, Henry 150 

Earl, Robert . . . .159 

Fumian, Eli 153 

Fabey, William Ho 

Grimes, I. C 12 2 

Griffith, Dr. Joshua 142 

Grimes. Eli 153 

Givens, Thomas 160 

Givens, Samuel S Io0 

Givens, Eleazer T 137 

Harris Brothers 164 

Healey, E. W 153 

Hawkins, John 161 

Kabl, Adam 140 

Koeher, Jacob 114 

Kclsey, Erastus - 144 

Lauder, Andrew - . - - - 122 

Lewis, David E 158 

Miller, Henry 94 

Meany, A.J lal 

Merrell, Peter 149 

Moran, M. A 115 

Means, W. L 143 

McClenathan, M 114 

Morley, J. W 159 

McSwain, J. F 147 

McClnskey, J. H 151 

Merced Woolen Mills 117 

Merced Bank 114 

Nelson and Son - 145 

Nelson, Charles C 149 

Nelson's Mill 117 

O'Donnett, John 140 



Ostrander, H.J 

Price, Thomas . . 

Penegar, G. R - 

Pate, Francis M 122 

Quigley,W.J 1*7 

Ramsey, Thomas J 152 

Reyublds, Reuben 13* 

Rosenthal, A 112 

Ray nor, William M. ....... - 157 

Robertson, Hon. J. W 126,131 

Simonson, John H 1*' 

Spears, S. K. 13S 

Smith.JohuC 114,141 

Scott, Col. Samuel 132 

Steele, Robert J 1*3 

Steele, Mrs. R. G "9 

Stockton, Nathaniel S 161 

Stoneroad, W. P. & Co 16* 

Stoneroad, N. B 134 

Stoneroad, Mrs. N. B 136 

Stevenson, James J . . . . 1*» 

Smith, Augustine 15* 

Scheeline, B H® 

Turner, William C 1*2 

Thornton, H U8 

Wheat, Job 139 

Weaver, R. A 152 

jZfK<^fC Sif. ifa^™^ 





EROED County to-day stands pre-eminently 
Srsl among the counties of California in the 
productions of her soil. The progress she has 
made within the last ten years has been mar- 
velous, ami almost beyond conception. 

This rich and productive county is situated 
in the heart of the great San Joaquin Valley, 
embracing a territory extending from the foot- 
hills of the Sierra Nevada range of mount- 
ains on the east, to the summit of the Central 
or Coast Range on the west. 

The Southern Pacific Railroad runs through the 
county from north to south, in about the center 
of the great productive valley. This and the San Joaquin 
River affords unlimited facilities for the shipment of produce. 


The principal river running through the county, and from 
which this great valley is named, is the San Joaquin. Next to 
the Sacramento this is the largest and most important river in 
♦he State. It flows northerly towards the Sacramento on the 
north, draining in its way the great valley of the San Joaquin. 
It passes through this county on the west, parallel to and not 
far distant from the Coast Range, the streams from that range 
feeding its waters during the rainy season. This river is about 
350 miles long, is navigable for ordinary steamers to Grayson, 
Hill's Ferry, and Firebaughs, and for small craft during 
high water in the winter and spring of the year to the mouth 
of the Tulare slough, about 150 miles. 


The Merced River is the principal local stream, running 
through the county from east to west, and emptying into the 
San Joaquin. It rises in the high Sierras and in its course 
passes through the far-famed Yo Semite Valley. 

It is perennial in its flow. The lofty mountains in which it 
rises stores away the snow which in summer never wholly 

disappears, thus giving down a steady and unfailing supply 
for watering the thirsty plains below. 

The Merced bottom-lands are without doubt some of the 
finest and most valuable in the State. They have been in 
cultivation extensively since farming operations began, and are 
as valuable for crops now as they were then. Besides pro- 
ducing the finest wheat and barley, cotton, corn, potatoes and 
all kinds of vegetables can be easily raised. Fruit trees nourish 
remarkably well. There has never been a complete failure of 
crops on these bottoms. 


The rivers are skirted on either side with a heavy growth of 
timber, averaging in some places a mile in width. This tim- 
ber consists principally of large oaks, interspersed here and 
there with sycamore, cottonwood, willow, and ash. Wild 
.rape and blackberry vines are found growing in luxuriance 
alone the river banks. Very little of the timber is valuable 
except for fire-wood; but the foot-hills and mountains afford 
an unlimited supply of the best building material. 


The valley is covered with a diluvium from 400 to 1,500 
feet deep, and this deposit of superficial loam, sand, gravel, 
etc constitutes the soU of this county. Most of this sod rs 
a rich sandy loam, but there are districts of deep black loam, 
almost free from sand; also districts of a red soil, and of an 
earth that when dry looks like fine ashes, works well under 
the plow, and is very fertile when supplied with nature. 

The surface is level and generally rich, and produces heavy 
crops of wheat and other cereals, without irrigation, save in 
exceptionally dry seasons, when there is almost a total lack of 
rain-fall during the winter months. The sandy and other light 
soil sections are easily cultivated and produce remunerative 
crops of small grain. Two crops in a season are frequently 
raised with irrigation, it being nothing uncommon to 
crop of barley following one of corn, on the same ground. 



Before entering more fully upon the history of the county it 
would seem appropriate to take a glance at the early history of 
the State, and note a little of its progress during a short decade; 
including the first establishment, rise and decline of the mis- 
sions ; the rapidity and grandeur of its wonderful rise and pro- 
gress ; the extent of its home and foreign commerce ; the dis- 
covery and astonishing produce of gold. No county history 
then-fore could be complete unless it included some account of 
the circumstances which brought each county into existence, 
and from whence came the men who organized and set the 
machinery of State and local governments in operation. It 
would thus he well, then, that posterity should know something 
of the early history of the State as well as of then own immedi- 
ate neighborhood ; and by placing these scenes upon record they 
will remain fresh in the minds of the people that otherwise, in 
the lapse of years, must gradually fade away. 


One hundred years ago — almost within the memory of men 
now living — but very little of California's soil had been trodden 
by the foot of civilized man. Up to the discovery of gold in 
1 848, it was an afar-off land, even to those on the western bor- 
der of civilization. School-boys then looked upon their maps 
and wondered if they might ever be permitted to traverse the 
".unexplored region" marked thereon. About that time, when 
Thomas H. Benton said the child was then born that would 
see a railroad connecting ocean with ocean, most people smiled, 
and thought that the day-dream of the old man had somewhat 
unsettled his hitherto stalwart intellect. No dream of forty 
years ago, no matter how bright the colors that may have been 
placed before the imagination, ever pictured the California of 
to-day — our own, our loved California. 


1513. — The Pacific ocean was given to the world by Vasco 
Nunez de Balboa, who looked down from the heights of Panama 
upon its placid bosom on the 25th day of September, 1513, 
the same year in which .Mexico was conquered by Hernando 
Cortez. To Balboa therefore belongs the credit of first seeing 
the Pacific ocean. 


I 534. — Cortez fitted out two ships for discovery of the Pacific 
coast. One was commanded by Becarra, who was murdered 
by his crew, led on by his own pilot Ortun, or Fortune 

Zimenes afterward continued the voyage of discovery, and 

appears to have sailed westward across the gulf, and to have 
touched the peninsula of California. This was in the year 
1534. He therefore was the first discoverer of the country. 


154-2— On the 27th of June, 1542, Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, 
who had been one of Cortez's pilots, left Navidad, in Mexico, 
under instructions from Antonio de Mendoza, "Viceroy of Spain, 
on a voyage of discovery. On the 5th of July he landed at 
Cape St. Lucas, in Lower California, and following the coast, 
he finally entered the delightful harbor of San Diego, in Upper 
California, on September 28th. This place he named San 
Miguel, which was afterwards changed by Viscaino to that 
which it now bears. 

He passed by the Golden Gate and reached latitude 44° on 
the 10th of March, 1543. The cold became so intense that he 
headed his ship again for Navidad. Cabrillo landed at Cape 
Mendocino, which he called Mendoza, in honor of the Viceroy. 
Whatever discoveries may have been made by this navigator, 
were followed by no practical results. 


1570. — The next expedition along the coast seems to have 
been that of the English buccaneer, Francis Drake, afterwards 
knighted by Queen Elizabeth for his success in capturing and 
destroying the rich Spanish ships. There long existed a popu- 
lar belief that Drake sailed into the harbor of San Francisco, 
and that the bay was named for him ; but it is now well settled 
that the bay he entered was that of Tomales, on the coast of 
Marin county. This once bore the name San Francisco. 

This noted English voyager, Sir Francis Drake, sailed along 
the coast in 1.579. It is said his -Spanish pilot, Morera, left him 
in Oregon, and thence found his way overland to Mexico, a 
distance of three thousand five hundred miles. The name of 
New Albion was given to the country by Drake, with the 
evident intention of securing it for the British crown. 

On the 22d of July, after repairing his ship and doubtless 
taking on board a goodly supply of fresh meat and water, Drake 
set sail for England, going by way of the Cape of Good Hope, 
and arriving in Plymouth November 3, 1580, having been gone 
about two years and ten months. He was the first Englishman 
who circumnavigated the globe, and was the first man who 
ever made the entire voyage in the same vessel. He was gra- 
ciously received by Qneen Elizabeth, and knighted. She also 
gave orders for the preservation of his ship, the Golden Ilhnl, 
that it might remain a monument to his own and his country's 

At the end of a century it had to be broken up, owing to 
decay. Of the sound timber a chair was made, which was 
presented by Charles II to the Oxford University, 








u Itf/jatft 



ifrafrai tti'A g 



■Sir Francis Drake died on board ship, at Xombre de Dios, 
in the West Indies, January 28, 1595. 


!.')"!». — The natives bringing the admiral Drake a present 
of feathers and cauls, if net-work, he entertained them so kindly 
and generously that tbey were extremely pleased, and soon 
afterwards they lent him a present of feathers and bags of 
tobacco. A number of them coming to deliver it, gathered 
thr'.msijves tngetht*! at the top of a small hill, from the highest 
point of which one of them harangued the admiral, whose tent 
was placed at the bottom. When the speech was ended, they 
laid down their arms and came down, offering their presents, 
at the same time returning what the admiral had given them. 
The women remaining on the hill, tearing their hair and mak- 
ing dreadful bowlings, the admiral supposed them engaged in 
making sacrifices, and thereupon ordered divine service to be 
performed at his tent, at which these people attended with 

The arrival of the English in California being soon known 
through the country, two persons in the character of ambassa- 
dors came to the admiral ami informed him, in the best manner 
they were able, that the king would visit him, if he might be 
assured of coming in safety. Being satisfied on this point, a 
numerous company soon appeared, in front of which was a very 
comely person, bearing a kind of sceptre, on which hung two 
crowns, and three chains of great length. The chains were of 
bones, and the crows of net-work, curiously wrought with 
leathers of many colors. 


Next to the sceptre-bearer came the king, a handsome, 
majestic person, surrounded by a number of tall men, dressed 
in skins, who were followed by the common people, who, to 
make the grander appearance, had painted their faces of various 
colore, and all of them, even the children, being loaded with 

The men being drawn up in line of battle, the admiral stood 
ready to receive the king within the fences of his tent. The 
companv having halted at a distance, the sceptre- bearer made 
a speech, half an hour long, at the end of which he began sing- 
ing and dancing, in which he was followed by the king and all 
the people, who, continuing to sing and. dance, came quite up 
to the tent; when sitting down, the king took off his crown of 
feathers, placed it on the admiral's head, and put on him the 
other ensigns of royalty ; and it is said that he made him a 
solemn tender of his whole kingdom; all of which the admiral 
accepted in the name of the queen, his sovereign, in hopes that 
these proceedings might, one time or other, contribute to the 
advantage of England. 

• - 

Then there is another silence concerning this region, of 
twenty-four year-, when Viscaino comes, exploring more care- 
fully, an-1 searching for harbors. 


1602.— It was not until 1602, that the Spaniards took miv 
actual steps to possess and colonize the continent. In that year 
Don Sebastian Viscaino was dispatched by the Viceroy of Mex- 
ico, acting under the instructions of his royal master, King 
Phillip III., on a voyage of search in three small vessels, lb- 
visited various points on the coast, among them San Diego. 


L602. — It is he who finds Monterey Bay. He gets then-. 
December 10, 1602. His object was to find a port where the 
ships coming from the Phillipine Islands to Acapulco.a trade 
which had then been established some thirty years, might put 
in, and provide themselves with wood, water, masts, and other 
things of absolute necessity. 

Viscaino gave the name of Monterey to that bay. On the next 
day after he anchored near the site of the present town of 
Monterey, religious worship was held "under a large oak by 
the sea-side." 

First Ves ei Estrrini rm Goi ur. Gatk. 

The description they give of the harbor says: "Near the 
shore is an infinite number of very large pines, straight and 
smooth, fit for masts, and yards, likewise oaks of a prodigious 
size for building ships. Here likewise are rose trees, white 
thorns, firs, willows and poplars; large clear lakes and fine 
pastures and arable lands." 

Viscaino leaves on the 3d of January, 1603, and then follows 
a long silence of more than a hundred and sixty years, during 
which no record speaks of this region of country. 


1763. — A great zeal for missions had sprung up, and then 
prevailed in Mexico for Christianizing the regions at the North. 
The glowing descriptions of the old navigators who touched here 
more than a hundred and fifty years before were revived, and 



both in Spain and Mexico, to 

enter into and possess 

tion reached San Diego nearly at the same time 

now came into existence a desire 

the land. Two divisions of the expedi- 
One by sea 
IndthT other by lani up the peninsula of Lower California. 

They were there together and founded the tot of the mis- 
sions of Upper California on the 10th day of July, 1769. But 
their zeal was too great to allow them to wait at the southern- 
most border of the promised land. They set their faces north- 


1769.— They had read of Viscaiiio. and his glowing description 
of the country around the bay he named « Monterey." They pro- 
posed to set out at once to find it by land. 

The expedition left San Diego July 14. 1769, and was com- 
posed of Governor Portala, Captain Re vera, with twenty-seven 
soldiers with leathern jackets, and Lieutenant P. Fages with 
seven volunteers of Catalonia, besides Engineer Constanzio, and 
fifteen Christian Indians, from Lower California. 

Fathers Crespi and Gomez accompanied them for their spirit- 
ual consolation, and to keep a diary of their expedition. Owing 
to Father Crespi's diary, the principal incidents of this first 
journey by land up this coast are known to us. They kept 
near the sea-shore most of the way. They were .constantly 
passing rancherias of Indians, whom they greeted as well as 
they knew how, and they were not molested by them. It was 
late in September when they came in sight of the Bay of 
Monterey, the very bay they were in search of, but they did 
not recognize it! 

Father Crespi and the Commandant, ascended a hill and 
looked down upon it, 


They recognized Point Pinos, and New Year's Point as describ- 
ed by Cabrera, but they did not recognize the bay as Viscaiho's 
Bay of " Monterey!" It is certainly very strange that they 
did not, but for some reason they did not seem to have thought 
of its being the very spot they were in search of ! 

The description of it by which they were guided was of 
course one given by those coming into the bay by water. It 
may not have been detailed or definite, or suited to guide those 
seeking it by land. 

At any rate, the soldiers explored Point Pinos on both sides 
and yet never recognized the place. 

Thev were all half of a mind to give up the search and go 

But the resolution to proceed still further prevailed, and so 
they resumed their march. "We trace them now step by step. 
They crossed the Salinas river. They passed several lagoons. 
They descended into the Pajaro valley and camped near the 
bank of the river. 


Moreover, in this valley they meet with an encampment of 
Indians, numbering, as they said, five hundred. _ 

The Indians had no notice of the arrival of strangers in then- 
land and were alarmed. Some took to their arms; some ran 
to and fro shouting. The women fell to weeping Utterly. 
Sargent Ortega alighted from his horse and approached them, 
making signs of peace. 

He picked up from the ground, arrows and little flags which 
they had set, and they clapped their hands in signs of appro- 


They were asked for something to eat. The women hast- 
ened to then- huts and began to pound seeds and make a kind 

of paste. 

But when the fathers returned to the same spot the next 
day, they found only smoking remains of the Indian's camp, 
the Indians themselves having set fire to it and gone away. 


1769.— They named the river " Pajaro " because they found 
here an immense bird killed, stuffed with hay, measuring nine feet 
and three inches from tip to tip of the wings spread out. Here 
too, not far from the river they made note of finding deer. 

They described the banks of the Pajaro river as they found 
them in the fall of 17G9, thickly covered with trees. They 
spoke particularly of the redwood, calling it " palo Colorado " 
on account of its color. Father Crespi says the trees are very 
high, and think they resemble the cedar of Lebanon, save that 
the wood has no odor. The leaves, too, he says, are different, 
and the wood is very brittle. 

They stopped near a lake where there was a great deal of 
pasture, and they saw a number of cranes. They rested there 
three days, on account of the sick. 

On the 17th of October, they moved on again, walking all 
the time through good land, at a distance of some three miles 
from the sea. 

At the end of that day's journey, they came to the river 
known as San Lorenzo. They proposed to cross it, not far 
from the sea. They found the banks steep. They were thickly 
grown with a forest of willows, cotton-wood and sycamore, so 
thick that they had to cut their way through. 

" It was one of the largest rivers," Father Crespi says, " that 
we met with, on our journey." The river was fifty-four feet 
wide at the point where they forded, and the water reached the 
belly of their horses. 

" We camped," says Father Crespi, " on the north side of the 
river, and we had a great deal of work to cut down trees to 
open a little passage for our beasts." "Not far from the river 
we saw a fertile spot where the grass was not burnt, and it was 
pleasure to see the pasture, and the variety of herbs and rose 





;,., We did not see. near the riv.-r, nor dur- 

ing our journey, any In' liana." 
The nnxt 'lay about eight o'clock in the morning they moved 

on again. 

"After proceeding aboul five hundred steps," Father Ci 
say«, "we passed a large stream of running water which had 
its source among high hill*, and passing through a table-land, 
furnishes ample facility for irrigation." This creek they called 
" Santa Cruz." And bo the little stream gave its name to the 


Perhaps Justiniano Roxos* saw this first party of white men 
that ever visited thia region. Fie must have been then about 
sixteen or seventeen years old. 

The company remained some sixteen days near the Bay of 
Monterey. Long enough to get a very fair idea of the climate. 
The sky was clear and there was no fog. 

San Francisco Bay at Time ok Discovery. 

They pushed on northward until they discovered San Fran- 
cisco bay and reached the Golden Gate itself. 


1769 _On the 1st of November, 1769, they sent a party to 
Point Reyes. On the 2d of November, several hunters of the 
expedition ascended the high mountains more towards the east; 
and, although we have no correct information as to the names 
of those hunters, it is certain that they were the first white 
inhabitants who saw the large arm of the sea known at present 
as the Bay of San Francisco. 

The portion that was seen by them was that which lies 
between the San Bruno mountains and the estuary or creek of 
San Antonio (Oakland). They discovered the bay, unless the 
honor is accorded to the exploring party that returned on the 
3d of November, who also had discovered the branch of the 
sea, by which they were prevented from reaching Point Reyes, 
and the primitive Bay first called San Francisco. 

■Justiniano RoxM died at Santa Cnn, March 10. 1S75, aired 123 j%ars. His portrait and 
biography were inserted in our biatorv ol Santa Craz County. From that article we learn he 
was tor years about as destitute of flesh as a skeleton. His skin was yellow, hard and full of 
creeses, and looked like parchment. Age had taken all expression from his countenance. 
His ayes were nearly closed. He waUeU with a staff. His last years were spent in trying to 
keep warm. Atntghiho spread his blanket by the hearth, with his h=ad toward the tire. 
Ho would not use a hed. He was eared for by the Sisters of Charity, aided by the countv- 
lie was baptised ah 01 March, 1792, by the record. 

< in the 4th of November the whole of the expedition saw the 

newly discovered boy, and they tried to go around it bj thi 

south; but not being able to do so. they returned to Monterey. 

And so, by the merest accident, they came upon the world- 

l renowned Bay of San Francisco. 

Finding it a place answering ever} requirement lu- named it 
after San Francisco deAsis; and seven years later, June -7, 
177G, possesion was taken of the spot and a presidio estab- 
lished, the mission being located on the site of the present 


1709. — Towards the end of November, we find them tarrying 
around Monterey again, not even now knowing that they were 
looking on the very harbor they were in search of! They even 
think it possible that the harbor that Viscaino found a hun- 
dred and sixty-six years before, and described in such glowing 
terms, may be filled with sand, and for that reason they can- 
not find it. They erect a large cross near Point Finos and 
place a writing at the foot of it, describing their hardships and 
disappointments, in case the vessel called the San Jose should 
anchor in that vicinity, and any of those on board should dis- 
cover the cross and find the writing. 

Finally, after many hardships, on the 24th day of January, 
1770, half dead with hunger, they arrive at San Diego, after 
an absence of six months. 

They have accomplished that long and exceedingly laborious 
journey; they have twice passed and looked upon the very bay 
they were in search of, not knowing it ! 


1770. The next time Monterey bay was searched for it was 

found. It was in that same year, 1770. The two parties set 
out from San Diego to find it, one by land, the other by water. 
They find the bay this time, reaching it very nearly together. 

On the 3d day of June, 1770, they take possession of the 
land in the name of the King of Spain. 

On the same day Father Junipero begins his mission by 
erecting a cross, hanging bells from a tree, and saying mass 
under the same venerable rock where Viscaifio's party celebrated 
it in 1G02, one hundred and sixty-eight years before. 


The missions were designed for the civilization and conver- 
sion of the Indians. The latter were instructed in the mys- 
teries of religion (so far as they could comprehend them) and 
the arts of peace. Instruction of the savages in agriculture 
and manufactures, as well as in prayers and elementary educa- 
tion, was the padre's business. 

At first the Indians were exceedingly cautious about 
approaching or connecting themselves with this new style of 



civilization, but gradually their feara and superstition* were 
overcome, and they began to cluster about the fathers. Their 
old habits and manner of living were thrown off, and they 
contented themselves with the quiet life and somewhat labori- 
ous duties of the missions. 


The California Indian was anything but an easy subject for 
civilization. Knowledge lie had none; his religion or morals 
were of the crudest form, while all in all he was the most 
degraded of mortals. He lived without labor, and existed for 
naught save his ease and pleasure. In physique he was unpre- 
possessing; being possessed of much endurance and strength; 
his features were unattractive, his hair in texture like the 
mane of a horse, and his complexion as dark as the Ethiop's 

His chief delight was the satisfying of his appetite and lust, 
while he lacked courage enough to be warlike, and was devoid 
of that spirit of independence usually the principal characteristic 
of his race. The best portion of his life was passed in sleeping and 
dancing; while in the temperate California climate the fertile 
valleys and hill-sides grew an abundance of edible seeds and 
wild fruits, which were garnered, and by them held in great 

Such means of existence being so easily obtained is, per- 
haps, a reason for the wonderful disinclination of Indians to 
perform any kind of labor. Indeed, what need was there that 
they should toil when nature had placed within their reach 
an unlimited supply of food? 


Besides the missions, presidios, castillos, and pueblos, it may 
be remarked that there were certain public farms, called 
ranchos, set apart for the use of the soldiers. They were gen- 
erally four or five leagues distant from the presidios, and were 
under the control of the different commandants. Little use, 
however, seems to have been made of these farms, and they 
commonly were left in a state of nature, or afforded only 
grazing to the few cattle and horses belonging to the pre- 

In the establishment of missions the three agencies brought 
to bear were the military, the civil, and the religious, being 
each represented by the presidio, or garrison; the pueblo, the 
town or civic community; and the mission, the church, which 
played the most prominent part. 


1770. — The third attempt to establish a settlement at Mon- 
terey proved successful, as heretofore noticed. The following 
extract from a letter of the leader of the expedition to Father 

Francisco Palou, gives a graphic account of the ceremonies 
attending the formal founding of the Mission of San Carlos de 
Monterey, by Padre Junipero Serra, on that memorable day, 
Jiiiil' 3, 1770. 

"On the 31st of May, 1770, by favor of God, after 
rather a painful voyage of a month and a half, the packet San 
Antonio, commanded by Don Juan Perez, arrived and anchored 
in this beautiful port of Monterey, which is unadulterated in 
any degree from what it was when visited by the expedition 
of Don Sebastian Viscaiiio, in 1620. It gave me great conso- 
lation to find that the land expedition had arrived eight days 
before us, and that Father Crespi and all others were in good 
health. On the 3d of June, being the holy day of Pentecost, 
the whole of the officers of sea and land, and all the people, 
assembled on a bank at the foot of an oak, where we caused 
an altar to be erected, and the bells rang; we then chanted the 
veni Creator, blessed the water, erected and blessed a grand 
cross, hoisted the royal standard, and chanted the first mass 
that was ever performed in this place; we afterwards sung the 
Salve to Our Lady before an image of the illustrious Virgin, 
which occupied the altar; and at the same time preached a 
sermon, concluding the whole with a Te Dewni. After this the 
officers took possession of the country in the name of the King, 
(Charles III.) our Lord, whom God preserve. We then all dined 
together in a shady place on the beach; the whole ceremony 
being accompanied by many volleys and salutes by the troops 
and vessels." 


1771. — This mission was founded by Padre Junipero Serra, 
July 14, 1771, and is situated about twelve leagues south of 
Soledad, in Monterey county, on the border of an inland stream 
upon which it has conferred its name. The buildings were 
inclosed in a square, twelve hundred feet on each side, and 
walled with adobes. Its lands were forty-eight leagues in cir- 
cumference, including seven farms, with a convenient house and 
chapel attached to each. The stream was conducted in paved 
trenches twenty miles for purposes of irrigation; large crops 
rewarded the husbandry of the padres. In 1S22 this mission 
owned fifty-two thousand eight hundred head of cattle, eighteen 
hundred tame horses, three thousand mares, five hundred yoke 
of working oxen, six hundred mules, forty-eight thousand 
sheep and one thousand swine. The climate here is cold in 
winter and intensely hot in summer. This mission on its secu- 
larization fell into the hands of an administrator who neglected 
its farms, drove off its cattle, and left its poor Indians to starve. 
—Walter Colton's Three Years m California. 

The mission grapes were very sweet; wine and aguardiente 
were made from them in early days, and the grapes were 
brought to Monterey for sale. The vineyard and garden walls 

Cou^" CXt0nded hb,t0iy0t """ " lissl01ls wm »° <™* i- «» "HWor, of Montoroy 





arena and the cattle have destroyed the vine*; many 

of the building* are down, and I •.-,■ been remove i t .. 

roof hou XI:.- church is 

still in good repair. ] formerly a good grist-mill at 

the m .■ the mission, is a thing of the 

past. — Pioneer M. 8. 

THE Mission op SOLEDAD.* 

1781. Mi ioi 3oI< i d was founded Octobei 9 1791, and is 
situated fifteen leagues south-wesl of Monterey on the lefl bank 
oi the Salinas river, in a fertile plain known by the nairn ol 

the " Xili [el Rey." Thepriesl was an indefatigable agri- 

culturiat, To obviate the Bummer droneht, he constructed, 


from tfontetey founded 17''4 lis lands swepl the broad 

interval and adjacent hills In [820 it owned forty-three 

thousand eighl md seventy head of cattle, one thou- 

hundred and sixty tame horses, foui thou and eight 


View of Mission Buildings at San Juan. 

through the labor of Ins Indians, an aqueduct extending fifteen 
miles, by which lie could water twenty thousand acres. 


In 1S26 the mission owned about thirty-six thousand head 
of cattle, and a greater number of horses and mares than any 
other mission in the country. 

So great was the reproduction of these animals that they were 
not only given away but also driven in bands into the bay of 
Monterey in order to preserve the pasturage for the cattle. It 
had about seventy thousand sheep and three hundred yoke of 
tame oxen. In 1819 the major-domo of this mission gathered 
three thousand four hundred bushels of wheat from thirty-eight 
bushels sown. Its secularization has been followed by decay 
and ruin. — Walter Colton. 

The mission possessed a fine orchard of a thousand trees, but 
very few were left in 1849. There was also a vineyard about 
six miles from the mission in a gorge of the mountains. 


1794. — This mission looms over a rich valley ten leagues 

* An extended history of these missions will be found in the "History of Monlerej- 

hundred and seventy mares, colts and fillies. It had seven 
sheep farms, containing sixty-nine thousand five hundred and 
thirty sheep; while the Indians attached to the mission drove 
three hundred and twenty-one yoke of working oxen. Eta 
store-house contained S75.000 in goods and 320,000 in 


This mission was secularized in 1834; its cattle slaughtered 
for the hides and tallow, its sheep left to the wolves, its horses 
taken by the dandies, its Indians left to hunt acorns, while 
the wind sighs over the grave of its last padre. — Walter 


The missions were usually quadrilateral buildings, two 
stories high, enclosing a court-yard ornamented with fountains 
and trees. The whole consisting of the church, father's apart- 
ments, store-houses, barracks, etc. The quadrilateral sides 
were each about six hundred feet in length, one of which was 
partly occupied by the church. 

And so they begin their work, surrounded by beautiful 
scenerv, but in seclusion and loneliness. Thev lived under 



the Bhadow of the hills. The sun rose bright and the air 
was mild, as now, and the music of the surf, and the roar of 
the ocean in times of storm— these things must have been 
as familiar to them as they are now to ua. 

But there must have been something of sublimity about 
them when all around was in a condition of nature, that we 
miss in our more artificial life. 

They go about their work. They get together the Indians 
as soon as possible, to communicate with them. They teach 
them some rude approach to the arts of civilized life. They 
teach the men to use tools, and the women to weave. 


Time passes away and we find them with a great work on 
their hands. It is nothing less than the building of a church. 
We think that to be no small undertaking even now, with all 
our facilities. But it is not easy for us to imagine what it was to 
them, with nothing but hand labor ; and that of a very rude 

But they set about it. They make adobes. They cut down 
the trees. They hew out the timber. By some means they 
get it up to the spot. No small undertaking that as we can 
see now by examining those very beams, in what remains of 
those old churches. 

Nor did the hewing lack in skill and accuracy, as you can 
also see, and the solid adobe walls, you can measure them, and 
you will find them to be five feet thick. It took often several 
years to build a church. And so life at the mission began 
in earnest. Other buildings were erected as they came to be 


The daily routine at all the missions was very much alike, 
and was about as follows:— 

They rose at sunrise and proceeded to the church, to attend 
morning prayers. Breakfast followed. Then the day's work. 

Towards noon they returned to the mission and passed the 
time till two o'clock in the afternoon, between dinner and 

After that hour they resumed work and continued it till 
about sunset. Then all betook themselves to the church for 
evening devotions, and then to supper. 

After supper came amusements till the hour for retiring. 

Their diet consisted of beef and mutton with vegetables in 
the season. Wheaten cakes and puddings or porridge, called 
atole and pinole, formed a portion of the repast. 

The dress was for the males, linen shirt, trousers, and a 
blanket. The women had each two undergarments a year, a 
gown and a blanket. 

"What a dreamy secluded life it must have been, with commu- 
nication with the outer world only at intervals. 

beechey's description of mission converts. 

Captain Beechey, in 1826, visitecf the missions and says:— 

" If any of the captured Indians show a repugnance to con- 
version, it is the practice to imprison them for a few days, and 
then allow them to breathe a little fresh air in a walk around 
the missions, to observe the happy mode of life of their con- 
verted countrymen; after which they are again shut up, and 
thus continue incarcerated until they declare their readiness to 
renounce the religion of their fathers." 

" In the isles and passages of the church, zealous beadles of 
the converted race are stationed armed with sundry weapons of 
potent influence in effecting silence and attention, and which 
are not sparingly used on the refractory. These consist of sticks 
and whips, long goads, etc., and they are not idle in the hands 
of the officials." 

" Sometimes, they break their bonds and escape into their 
original haunts. When brought back to the mission he is 
always flogged and then has an iron clog attached to one of 
his legs, which has the effect of preventing his running away 
and marking him out in terrorem to others." Notwithstand- 
ing this dark picture, it must not be imagined that life was 
one of much hardship, or that they even thought so. 


1770. — Of those who came oftenest among them at San Diego, 
was an Indian about fifteen years of age, and was at last induced 
to eat whatever was given him without fear. Father Junipero 
had a desire to teach him, and after understanding a little of 
the language he desired him to try and bring some little one 
for baptism. He was told to tell the parents that by allowing 
a little water to be put on the head, the child would become a 
son of God, be clothed and become equal to the Spaniards. He 
returned with several Indians, one of whom brought the child 
for baptism. Full of joy the child was clothed and the vener- 
able priest ordered the soldiers to attend this first baptism. The 
ceremony proceeded, and as the water was about to be poured 
the Indians suddenly snatched away the child and made off in 
great haste, leaving the father in amazement, with the water in 
his hands unused. 

It was not, however, until the 26th of December, 1770, that 
the first baptism of the Indians was celebrated at Monterey, 
which turned out better than the first attempt at San Diego. 
But at the end of three years only one hundred and seventy- 
five were baptized, showing that the Indians received civiliza- 
tion slowly. 


1776.— On September 17, 1776, the presidio and mission of 
San Francisco were founded, on what was then the extreme 
boundary of California, the former in a manner being a front- 




rtW,.J-«W «h»h extended U, the 

Si2 be*. B-I -preridiceofS^ l^,-. '- 

„„,, M rey.andS ft, I -bile there we but two 

* ~r.ri223cs 

csssrs- *—- -h 

tJa*e.,d p, goat* and swine "ere added. 

RICH MEN OF 1793- 

1798 ._An inventory of tt.eriehn.en of the presidio of San 
Francisco, bearing date 
1708 was discovered 
some years since, show- 
ing that the entire 
numberof stock owned 
by fourteen wealthy 
Spaniards, was one 
hundred and fifteen 

cattle, two hundred 

and ninety-eight Bheep 

and seventeen mares. 
These are the men 

who laid the founda- 
tion of these immense 

hordes of cattle which 

were wont to roam 
about the entire State 

or THK Wm -M.nw.MA> aiSMUXS 


I I. .1* 


Fadut .... 

I . 

Bra Lnl ■-1'* ; 

san Fnuietooo (Dol 

gU, Jon l.pi-lr. .. 


sin Bu«tt»«»f"* 

liWtta1ni»C epUon 

■ i rui . 
i [ASotekd . - 
. ,, i - 

gan jmui B»utbu 

Sun Miguel . . •■ 
San Petnantlo RCJ 
s.mi.u.s KoyileFmnch .. 

Bfpi*i •.'■"' 

Mpfl 1. >"- 

. . ■ ■ 

(tort I. 

I.,,-. 1 . !■■■ 

Itarch SI. 1783 

,,. .r 1,1789 

n, . r ■■ l; ■■ 

■ B.170 

,, ■ , 1701 

June ii, 1707 

Juuc -'. IJftj 

.i„.. ■ . ii n 

Beptfr ". WW 

Jnno 18, ITW 

BNU I" ' 


Sepl'r 17. 1^>* 
DoVr U,l«2 


i,. III. ' 

, U. ■ I 

I. ,. I I . . .. 

• „:.... 

mill" ■ ■<-' ■'' ™' '' i 


.... I ■ b. » 

On thi B»nu Bartow channel. 

.,,, II,. - u,> , I I . . .1. 

VhoP ' I BanU ■ ■*•"«"■ 

o„thoWto»rI«r.Monto«l •■■" i "'- 

SZniildl iMgnafl 

TO .Jtstn KiamUco Bay. Miirl 

jj n, Sun » count) 

Mission Church ani 

Buildings at Sonoma. 


1B13.— The extinc- 
tion of (he missions 
was decreed by act of 
the Spanish Gortez in 
L813, and again in 
1828; also, by the 
Mexican Congress in 

1833. Year after year 
they were despoiled of 
their property, until 
their final overthrow 
in 1845. 

Each successive rev- 
olution in Mexico had 

Californians. . 

As year succeeded year so did their stock urease. 
ThJ received tract, of land " almost for the askurg. 


Vast Ws of cattle roa t: ^ ::r -£ 
and among the mounts. Oncea^a 

and one reqmrmg muehnerve. 1 ^ 

,.,,.,, was the signal for a feast; a large be ^ 

t , vo ,,, a „d all would make merry untd.t was eo ^ 

mle or law concerning branded cattle m those y . 

very strict. d ^ neighbor's 

Tf nnv one was known to n«.e "'"" 
eil^is own mar,, common uncalled upon him 

to return in kind fourfold ^ 

Not only did this apply to cattle alone, 
kinds of live stock. 

course to the rich California missions for plunder. 
re inl81 , when the contest for — ^C X 


0{ this secularization scheme was. md e ^ wetf ^ 

Xndiansand colonists; but ^^J^^ ^ ^ 
rea , motions of **«en .^^ sUted 
section of the decree P«-**£ ^cated for the pay- 
th at one-half of the -^"^J^ of the Government 
m entof the natmna, deb, Thrs ^ ^ ^ ^ 

was not carried out at the time, yet 
state and well-being of the missions » general. 

!-!««-* — ^TSSlSi 

and earlier still, as we learn from an unf > 

| to ceof the fathers, itwasnot unusual o^ 

t0 abandon the missions and return tc ^" ^ fl 

Hfe. It was customary on those occas.ons to pu.sue 
ers, and compel them to return. 




1826.— In 1826 instructions were forwarded by the federal 
government to the authorities of California for the liberation 
of the Indians. This wasfolloweda few years later by another 
act of the Legislature, ordering the whole of the missions to be 
secularized and the religious to withdraw. The ostensible 
object assigned by the authors of this measure, was the execu- 
tion of the original plan formed by the Government. The 
missions, it was alleged, were never intended to be permanent 

Meantime, the internal state of the missions was becoming 
more and more complex and disordered. The desertions were 
more frequent and numerous, the hostility of the unconverted 
more daring, and the general disposition of the people inclined 
to revolt. American traders and freebooters had entered the 
country, spread themselves all over the province, and sowed 
the seeds of discord and revolt among the inhabitants. Many 
of the more reckless and evil minded readily listened to their 
suggestions, adopted their counsels, and broke out into open 



IS 17 


San Diego 

San Luis Rey de Francia 
San Juan Capistrano .... 

San Gabriel 

San Fernando 

San Buenaventura 

Santa Barbara 

La Purissima Conception. 

San Luis Obispo 

San Miguel 


San Antonio de Padua . . . 
San Carlos de Monterey. . 

San Juan Bautista 

Santa Cruz 

Sauta Clara 

San Jose 

San Francisco 

Santa Inez . 

San Rafael Archangel. . . 
San Francisco de Solano . 











95 S 




Their hostile attack was first directed against the mission of 
Santa Cruz, which they captured and plundered, when thev 
directed their course to Monterey, and, in common with their 
American friends, attacked and plundered that place. From 

in ISM, *1,e» Huinhohlr niifed ttalU&nU, ho estimated the' whole population of th P 
upper country as follows: Converted Indians. 15, 562, -.white, ami n.ulntt.l 1 so, L 
6(1,862. wud Indians, or bittiat (boasts); as they were called, Vers p Kj y,l v r,ol'cnu.noZ 
'■iit bt: n S unl aptizcd wow considered beneath the notice of reasonable beinW "" ,,e^o '■ IS • 

these and other like occurrences, it was clear that the condition 
of the missions was one of the greatest peril. The spirit of 
discord had spread among the people, hostility to the authority 
of the fathers had become common, while desertion from the 
villages was of frequent and almost constant occurrence. 


1833. — The Mexican Congress passed a bill to secularize the 
missions in Upper and Lower California, August 17, 1S33. 
This took away from the friars the control of the mission prop- 
erty, placing it in charge of administrators; it gave the civil 
officers predominance over the priestly class. The President of 
the Republic issued his instructions to Governor Figueroa, of 
California, who in turn, August 9, 1834, issued a decree that in 
August, 1835, ten of the missions would be converted into 
pueblos or towns. 

A portion of the mission property was divided among the 
resident Indians, and the decree for the liberation of the Indians 
| was put in force. The dispersion and demoralization of the 
people was the immediate result. Released from all restraint, 
the Indians proved idle, shiftless, and dissipated, wholly incap- 
able of self-control, and a nuisance both to themselves and to 
every one with whom they came in contact. "Within eight 
years after the execution of the decree, the number of Chris- 
tians diminished from thirty thousand six hundred and fifty to 
four thousand four hundred and fifty ! 


At the end of sixty-five years, Hon. John W. Dwindle tells 
us, in Centennial Memoirs, page 89, that the missionaries of 
Upper California found themselves in possession of twenty-one 
prosperous missions, planted upon a line of about seven hun- 
dred miles, running from San Diego north to the latitude of 
Sonoma. More than thirty thousand Indian converts were 
lodged in the mission buildings, receiving religious culture, 
assisting at divine worship, and cheerfully performing then- 
easy tasks. Over seven hundred thousand cattle of various 
species, pastured upon the plains, as well as sixty thousand 
horses. One hundred and twenty thousand bushels of wheat 
were raised annually, which, with maize, beans, peas, and the 
like, made up an annual crop of one hundred and eighty thou- 
sand bushels j while, according to the. climate, the different 
missrona rivaled each other in the production of wine, brandy 
soap, leather, hides, wool, oil, cotton, hemp, linen, tobacco, salt 
and soda. 


Of two hundred thousand horned cattle annually slaughtered 
the m IS s,ons furnished about one-half, whose hides, hoofs. horns 
and tallow were sold at a net result of about ten dollars each 
makrng a million dollar, from that source alone; while the other 

J* «<4rfc -*•*_<•**■* 



■J I 

ftrticli of which do definite statistics can beobtaini 

ti reached an equal iralu ta) production by toe 

mission of twomillioi Gardens, vineyi 

ami on ui rounded all the mi 

northernmost Dolores, Ban Kafael, and San Francisco Solano 

— the climate of the first being too inhospitable for that pur- 

i ;i n< I Hn- two latter, born near th*- advent of the Mexican 

revolution, being stifled in their infancy. 

Theother mi • cording to their latitude, wore orna- 
mented and enriched with plantations of palm trees, bananas 
oranges and figs, with orchards of European fruits; and with 
vast and fertile vineyards, whose products wen- equally valu- 
able for sale and exchange, and for tlie diet and comfort of the 
inhabitants of the missions. Aside from these valuable proper- 
ties, and from the mission buildings, the live stock of the 
missions, valued at their current rules, amounted to three 
million dollars of the most active capital, bringing enormous 

ant I returns upon its aggregate value, and, owing to the 

grout t itilit> :j!' animals in i alifornia, more tlian repairing its 
annual waste by slaughter. 

AND 1822. 

S - \|i--i..v 

nw'Tu>:i>. uarrikd. nini>. Existing 

Sun Dingo .">,4-->:> 

San Luis Rc\ 4,024 

San Juan Capistmno 3,879 

Simla (Jatavina j 6,906 

San Fernando, ' 2,51 

Sun * labviel 

Santa Barbara 

Sun Buenaventura. . 
I'urissinia Conception 

San Luis Obispo 

San Miguel 

San Antouio de Padua 
Our Lady of Soledad.. 

San Carlos 

San Juau Bautista. . . . 

Santa Cruz 

Santa Clara 

San Jose 

San Francisco 

San Rafael 























































It will thus be observed that out of the seventy-four thousand 
six hundred and twenty-one converts received into the mis- 
sions, the large number of forty-seven thousand nine hun- 
dred and twenty-five had succumbed to disease. Of what 
nature was this plague it is hard to establish; the missionaries 
themselves could assign no cause. In all probability, by a 
sudden change in their lives from a free, wandering existence, 
to a state of settled quietude. 

* The identical vessel In which Napoleon escaped from the Isle of Blba -1815. 


Ni vtn 




of Roano 

oi ; ~ 

Sauls or TUB 







i-i i-i \ 
18,000 80 


1 1848 

Ban DIi n 



100 17,000 tOO 13 .--i 




i. .!,!••■ 1,000 11,1". 

Sbii Jiun tputtnno 


.ui". HO 

1,000 1M> 





ioa,ooo ;<•■ 

80,000 MM 

;. ...... 

, .lulu. . 

i ... 


h.i-m 1,800 

5,000 i 

,000 K.000 

1 '■!!.. 



1,000 900 


0,000 nil 

■ ' 

Santa Barbara 




1,800 ISO 

5,000 li'i 

. . . 

- i"' k Im 


tl.l..l III. 1. Ml 

■ . 

,, ... 

i p i . i ■ Lion 



■ . . , 

14,000 3,500 


• ui [.-,■- Obi I 

1,9 n 




7,000 WO 


- iii Uhjui i 

I, ■..> 


1,000 |n 

■ ■ 

to,i ■■ . i ■' 

'. 00 

Sin Anl.. Hi" 


1 '.KH 300 

'. ■' 


. ■ 


- i. Icdul. . 



!,*» ... 



UI -i lei ' ! i . 



■ ■; 



i . Ik «i 

- >i> l| .ii IlittllliUi 







-■!,:■ i nil 




18,000 1,600 



- jii ■ I luv 



i mo ■ .. 

15,0041 S.OOO 





2,400 v 

1,100 800 

10,000 •J"" 1 


I'll !'■ - in i rani boo, . 



5,000 61 

1,000 M 

1,000 800 


San Ralaal. 







Bin FranuiKo Bolanu 



8,000 . . 



■ ■ 


!.■ ' 

SU0.400 20,030 

. ■ 


.. . 


1834, — During the year 1834, one Jose Maria Hijur was dis 
patched from Mexico with a colonization party, bound for 
Upper California. The ship touched at San Diego, and bore a 
portion of the party disembarked. The remainder proceeded 
to Monterey, and, a storm arising, their ship was wrecked upon 
the beach. Hijar now presented his credentials, and was aston- 
ished to find that a messenger overland from Mexico had 
already arrived, bringing news of Santa Ana's revolution, 
together with dispatches from the new president revoking Ilia 
(Hijar's) appointment; and continuing Figueroa in office. 

In the bitter discussion that followed, it came out that Hijar 
had been authorized to pay for his ship, the Natalia* in mis- 
sion tallow; that the colonists were organized intoa company 
duly authorized to take charge of the missions, scpieeze out of 
them the requisite capital, and control the business of the terri- 
tory. The plan had miscarried by a chance, but it showed the 
missionaries what they had to expect. 

With the energy born of despair, eager at any cost to outwit 
those who sought to profit by their ruin, the mission fathers 
hastened to destroy that, which through more than half a cen- 
tury, thousands of human beings had spent their lives to 


Hitherto, cattle had been killed only as their meat was needed 
for use; or, at long intervals perhaps, for the hides and tallow 
alone, when an overplus of stock rendered such action neces- 
sary. Now they were slaughtered in herds. There was no 
market for the meat, and this was considered worthless. The 
creature was lassoed., thrown, its throat cut; and while yet 
writhing in the death agony its hide was stripped and pegged 
upon the ground to dry. There were no vessels to contain the 
tallow, and this was run into great pits dug for that, to 
be spaded out anon, and shipped with the hides to market. 



White and natives alike revelled in gorc,andvied with each 
other in destrnction. So many cattle were there to kil., it 
,1 a, though thin profitable and pleasant work must last 
, The white settlers were especially pleased with the 
turn affairs had taken, and many of them did not scruple un- 
ceremoniously to appropriate large herds of young cattle 
wherewith to stock their ranches. Such were the scenes being 
enacted on the plains. 


At the missions a similar work was going on. The outer 
buildings were unroofed, and the timber converted into fire- 
wood. Olive groves and orchards were cut down; shrubberies 
and vineyards torn up. Where the axe and vandal hands 
failed, fire was applied to complete the work of destruction. 
Then the solitary bull left hanging on each solitary and dis- 
mantled church, called their assistants to a last session of praise 
and prayer, and the worthy padres rested from their labors. 

When the government administrator came, there was but 
little left; and when they went away, there was nothing. 


1845. — A proclamation of Governor Pico, June 5, 1845, 
provides: — 

1. That the governor should call together the neophytes of 
the following-named missions : San Rafael. Dolores, Soledad, San 
Miguel and La Purissima; and in case those missions were 
abandoned by their neophytes, that he should give them one 
month's notice, by proclamation, to return and cultivate said 
missions, which if they did not do, the missions should be de- 
clared abandoned, and the Assembly and governor dispose of 
them for the good of the Department. 

2. That the missions of Carmel, San Juan Bautista, San 
Juan Capistrano and San Francisco Solano, should be consid- 
ered us pueblos, or villages, which was their present condition; 
and that the property which remained to them, the governor, 
after separating sufficient for the curate's house, for churches 
and their pertinents, and for a municipal house, should sell at 
public auction, the product to be applied, first to paying the 
debts of the establishments, and the remainder, if any, to the 
benefit of divine worship. 

3. That the remainder of the missions to San Diego, inclu- 
sive, should be rented at the discretion of the governor. 


1845. — On the 28th of October, of the same year (1845), 
Governor Pico gave public notice for the sale to the highest 
bidder of five missions, to wit: San Rafael. Dolores, Soledad, 
San Miguel and La Purissima ; likewise for the sale of the 

remaining buildings in the pueblos (formerly missions) of San 
Luis Obispo, Carmel, San Juan Bautista, and San Juan Capis- 
trano after separating the churches and their appurtenances, 
and a curate's, municipal and school-houses. The auction, 
were appointed to take place, those of San Luis Obispo, Puris- 
sima and San Juan Capistrano, the first four days of December 
following (1845); those of San Rafael, Dolores, San Juan Bau- 
tista, Carmel, Soledad and San Miguel, the 23d and 24th of 
January, 1846; meanwhile, the Government would receive and 
take into consideration proposals in relation to said missions. 

The final disposition of the missions at the date of 1845 will 
be seen in the following: 



Naiik of Mission. 



Shii Luis Re)' 

Sold to Sanlint-o Artfuollo, Juno 8, 1840. 

Si'lcl to Antonio Cut and Andres PiCO, May 13, 1846. 
Pueblo, and remainder Bold to John Fuster and James 
McKinley, December 0,184fi. 

Sold to Julian Workman and Hugo Reid, June 18, 1840. 

Rented to Andres Pico, for nine years from December, 


1845, and sold to Juan Celis, Jane, 1846. 

Sold to Joseph Atnaz. 


Rented fur nine years, from June 8, 1848, to Nieta s Den. 


llented to Joaquin Carrillo. 

Sold to John Temple, December 6, 1845. 







House and garden sold to Sobrancs, January 4, 1846. 








In charge of priest. 


In charge of priest. 


Dolores, (San Francisco). . . 



Mission in charge of priest. 


Mission in charge of priest. 


We make the following extracts from laws sent the colonists 
and hearing date Monterey, March 23, 1816: — 

"All persons must attend mass, and respond in a loud voice, 
and if any persons should fail to do so, without good cause, 
they will be put in the stocks for three hours." 

" Livine in adultery, gaming and drunkenness will not be 
allowed, and he who commits such vices shall be punished." 

Another order required every colonist to possess " two yoke 
of oxen, two plows, two points or plowshares (see engraving 
of plow), two hoes for tilling the ground, and they must pro- 
vide themselves with six hens and one cock." 


Government Order, No. 6, issued from Monterey, July 20, 
1708, is "to cause the arrest of Jose Arriola, and send him un- 
der guard, so that he be at this place during the coming Sun- 
clay, from there to go to Santa Barbara, there to comply with 
his promise he made a young woman of that place to marry 

The records do not inform us whether Jose fulfilled his agree- 
ment with the young lady or not! 


Extract from a letter dated Monterey, June 3 1799: 
«] send von by the wife of thepei 

,. rfBral r"" ?!* 

I have no ho] I i ■ ™fi 

. Hi y--.-. Sal, 

"">'''"' "" "Milita, G 

Jort think of the colomsl omta for ti 

! U, , ialli, " b«.B»."«.p 

drive toBr iforto.6 Sun ....- » to -,,...,..., 

belonging to hi, father, «.at the for ■ .».j ' I '■ 

, :l: , of them." 

Agriculture in Early Times. 
FAMmro to California was in a very primitive .state :uptoita 

Ipa«onbythe A ricans. What farming the Cairns 


,, ,■ vehicles unwieldy. Such articles of bus- 

!;::;!::. i^^y'-**-^*"'* 

'T^ , with a short, stumpy th-edged sickle; 

;, In hedbythotr ping of 1 « « " 

evJwas the depredations of the wild Ind:ans, who woud 

U s steal their horses, 1 then the eattle would have to 

Tvmthework of separation. The cleaning of gram was 

^:^^-r^^0,hy.e T de S: 
. t L«„ ff descriplScftiB of the country about iheBftj 

;;;::;::::-' £ .«-**—*- 

in 1835. 


The plow used at that time must have been of great antiquity 

1 nf two principal pieces; one, called the mam 

It was composed of - P' eut iWna 

l-- to,OU ° T ll.-low had only one handle, 

6qUal "" '"" ,l S "'T i ,1 , nlow was a small piece Btted to the 

T " * '™' ab0 ; fc f^Tapeln in the detached part of 

P0int ° me8 %therwS;-eaticngth,s„a sto reach 
the engraving- The beam ■ g ^ rf a nat . 

to y „ b e of he o*en. ^^ q{ ^nsions, and 

m ,, piece of wood, eut fun tree p V ^ 

hadno drying except taking on "^^^^ 

^^- tofteupper ^° f fiTrrhir.siides ) andis 

^JLtcKi or lowered, and depth of furrow related. 

The long beat lw-t**« tt Uko U» polo ol 

, ,pto is pnt through! 

Sid. Theplow " ide.holdu.gtheWdk 

with his right hand and managing the goad -*•»*** 

, f , -n,n,a rofyokin, ;'"' 

X . stick of he top of the head 

drawing by *e shoulder* 

'*«»' '1^ ",„ 

They had no freed *« >"'" 1 " ""' """ 

turned up, and see 1 to be in pain 

With this plow only, tofarut, d be made and the 

Plowing Id only bed Etert! came, and 

an immense numl tplw had to 1 mpl 


Th eharr totally unk <«d . bus .town 

ovlrthe field to cover in tl I ; but to some pi, :al 

p,. « I >■> I" fATlVl G IKNUSM. 

heavy log of wood was drawx r the field thing of the 

:1 of a roller, but dragging witl «tag. 1. »* 

carry* portion of the soil ove, theseed. 


The Californians were not without their native n, fce- 

t and they did not.asisgenerallysupposed.relyaltogethe, 

^"da, harness, saddles, wagons, blanket,, etc., were manu- 

E t7caUfo™ia it may be truly said, that before the admission 
of foreign settlers, neither the potato nor green vegetables 
were cultivated as articles of food. 


The management of the dairy was totaliy unknown There 

Wdlv anv such thing in use as butter and cheese. The 

kirtrrixLable "compound of sonr milk and c, ,m 

very dis 8 greeable flavor, and always rancid. 



The3 liadanaw] , ,,] way of milking, as they thought 1 1 

ft 1 .: tou» the calf to induce the cow to give 

, , ^f ac k foi ome time alone, and then 

| !1V hold of the fceate as fchey could while the calf was still 

„.,., ftn dby a kind of stealth procured a portion of the milk. 

The Bupercargoof a British ship from India, bound for the 

. a Vesica infor 1 Alexander Forbes* in 1832, that on 

. thi coa tof California they touched at the Russian 

called La Bodega [S ma county), and which I 

bordei on the Spani h territory— or rather of right belongs to 
,, anil although the pari which the Russians possess is sterile , 

,,, i , p arison to the fine plains occupied by the Spaniard's, 

yet they found immediately on their arrival a present sent on j 
board by the Russian Governor, of most excellent butter, fat 
mutton, and good vegetables, all things most desirable to | 
people arriving from a long voyage. They soon proceeded to j 
Monterey, the capital of Spanish California, where they could ] 
find nothing bul bull beef! neither bread, butter, cheese, or j 
vegetables could I"' procured. As late as 1834; Monterey was I 
supplied with butter and cheese from the Russian settlement 
at Bodega, 


When the crops wen* ripe they were cut with a sickle*, or any 
other convenient weapon, and then it became necessary to thresh 
Hi, hi Viw for the modus opevandi. The floor of the corral 
into which LI was customary to drive the horses anil cattle in I 
order to lasso them, from constant use had become hardened. | 
Into this inclosure the grain would be piled, anil upon it the ] 
mandtha s or band of mares, would be turned loose to tramp j 
out the grain. The wildest horses would be turned adrift i 
upon the pile of straw, when would ensue a scene of the wild- 
est confusion; the excited animals being driven, amidst the [ 
yelling of the vaquevos and the cracking of whips, here, there, . 
and everywhere, around, across, and lengthwise, until the 
whole was trampled, leaving naught but the grain and chart'. 

The most difficult part of the operation, however, was the ' 
separating of the grain from the chart" Owing to the length 
of the dry season, there was no urgent haste to effect this; 
therefore when the wind was high enough, the Indians, who 
soon fell into the ways of tin- white pioneers, more especially 
whore they wen- paid in kind and kindness, would toss the 
trampled mass into the air with large wooden, forks, cut from 
the adjacent oaks, and the wind carried away the lighter chaff, 
leaving the heavier grain. With a favorable wind several 
bushels of wheat could thus be winnowed in the course of one 

How insignificant this scene appears when contrasted with 
a San Joaquin farmer's outfit of a 24-horse reaper and thresher 
combined, which is fully described further on in this work and 
represented in several engravings. 

Now u resident ol Oakland. Soc page 


Mr. William Halley, says: From 1833 to 1850 may be set 
down as the golden age of the native Californians. Not till 
then did the settlement of the rancheros become general. The 
missions were breaking up, the presidios deserted, the popula- 
tion dispersed, and land could be had almost fur the asking. 
Never before, and never since, did a people settle down under 
the blessings of more diverse advantages. 

The country was lovely, the climate delightful; the valleys 
were ailed with horses and cattle; wants were few, and no one 
dreaded dearth. There was meat for the pot and wine for the 
cup, and wild game in abundance. No one was in a hurry. 
-Bills payable" or the state of the stocks troubled no one, 
and Arcadia seems to have temporarily made this her seat. 
The people did not, necessarily, even have to stir the soil for a 
livelihood, because the abundance of their stock furnished 
them with food and enough hides and tallow to procure money 
for every purpose. They had also the advantage of cheap and 
docile labor in the Indians, already trained to work at the 
missions. And had they looked in the earth for gold, they 
could have found it in abundance. 

They were exceedingly hospitable and sociable. Every guest 
was welcomed, The sparsity of the population made them 
rely on each other, and they had many occasions to bring them 


Church days, bull-fights, rodeos, were all occasions of festiv- 
ity. Horsemanship was practiced as it was never before out 
of Arabia; dancing found a ball-room in every house, and 
music was not unknown, For a caballero to pick up a silver 
coin from the ground at full gallop, was not considered a feat; 
and any native youth could perforin the mustang riding which 
was lately accomplished with such credit by young Peralta in 
New York. To fasten down a mad bull with a lovriat, or even 
subdue him single-handed in a corral, were every-dav per- 
formances. The branding and selecting of cattle in rodeos was 
a gala occasion. 

While the young men found means to gratify their tastes 
for highly wrought saddles and elegant bridles, the women had 
their till of finery, furnished by the Yankee vessels that visited 
them regularly for trade every year. Few schools were estab- 
lished, but the rudiments of education were given at home. 
The law was administered by Alcaldes, Prefects, and Governor. 
Murder was very rare, suicide unknown, and San Francisco 
was without a jail. 


Wine was plentiful, and so was brandy. There was a native 
liquor in use that was very intoxicating. It was a sort of 
cognac, which was very agreeable and very volatile, and went 



lik.-a Hani, to the brain [| 

it made a large profit This liquor was known as a , 

rente tipple until supplanted by the whisky 
of the Americanos, ft was mostly made in Los Aug 
when the bed part of tbi grapes raised were used for it. 

Tin. \ i< ujfi BBSIDBNt I 

1 1 ■ iiionod of lai m ,,.., i.- f 

that black loam know n to ettlers in the Golden State as b 
■ ii mi ed i no ] to spec 

'"" ! : ' '" ' ! n inches square and three in thiekn 

thi ■ wen cement* I with mud, plastered within with the s 

hl ' '■ i whil ■■■ ished when finished. The rafters and 

joists were of rough timber, with the bark simply peeled off 
an I plaa d in tli n qui be position; while the resideneesof the 
wealthier classes were roofed with tiles of o convex shapa, 
I' 1 "'■" l o that thoonu mould overlap the other, and thus make 
a water uhed; or, later, with shingles, the poor contenting th< m 

■'■ ■■ with a thatch of tuh fastened down with thongs of 
bullock's hide. The former modes of covering were expensive, 

and none but the opulent < M afford the luxury of tiles. 

When completed, however, these mud dwellings will Btand the 
brunt and wear and tear of many decades, as can be evidenced 

b> the b ir which are still occupied. 

There were occasional political troubles, but these did noi 
much interfere with the profound quiet into which the people 
had settled, Toe change from a monarchy into a republic 
Boarcely produced n ripple. The invasions of the Americans 
did uot stir them very profoundly. But they received such a 
shook in their slumbers that they, too, like their predecessors, 
the Indians, are rapidly passing away. 


flic form of the ox-curt was as rude as that of the plow. 
The polewasof very large dimensions, ami fastened to the yoke 
and oxen Liu- same as the plow. The animals had to bear the 
weight of the load on their heads. This added greatly to the 
distress of the poor animals, as they felt every jerk ami twist 
of the cart in tin- must sensitive manner ; and as the roads were 
full of ruts and stones, it-is a wonder that the animals' heads 
uviv not twisted off. , 

The wheels of this cart were of the most singular construe- I 
tion Fhey had no spokes and were made of three pieces of j 
timber. The middle piece was hewn out of a large tree, of size J 
to form the nave and middle of the wheel, all in one. The 
other two pieces were made of timber bent and joined by keys 
of wood. There does not enter into the construction of this cart 
a particle .if iron, not even a nail, for the axle is of wood and ! 
the lynch-pin of the same material. 

Walter Colton says: "The ox-cart of the Californian is quit ■ 

ad primitive. The wheels are cut transversely 

from the butt end of a tree, and hai rough the center 

for a huge wood a- m in our engraving. Tie- oxen 

uid horns instead of the chest; and then 

draw enormous loads 

" On gala days il wasswept oul and covered with mat*: o 

p body is put on which is arched with hoop-poles, and over 

a pair of sheets are exl in !■ I fai o covering Into this 

the ladies are tumbled with the children and bhej itarl ahead." 

In old settlei writes tons that "Many of our people will 

irta used in early days by the Californians 'fhey 

usually traveled From place to place on liorseback; but when 

the family desired to visit n neighbor or go to town, the family 

coach was. called into use. That vehicle consisted of two 

immense wooden wheels, cut or sawod off a log, with holes as 

near the center as convenient for the axle-tree with a tongue 

lashed to the axle with ran hidi thongs Upon this a frame a 

wide as the wheels would parmit, and from seven to twelve 

feel in length, was placed, upon which was securely fastened 

one or two rawhides with the flesh side down, and arude frame 

Old Fasbionku Spanish Ox-caut. 

over the top, upon which to stretch an awning, with rawhid* 
thongs woven around the sides to keep the children from 
I umbling out. 

"The female portion of the family, with the small children, 
would seat themselves in the cart, t » which was afctaihe I a pair 
of the best traveling ox m on the ranch. An Indian would 
drive, or rather lead the oxen (for he usually walked ahead of 
them). In this simple, rude contrivance the family would travel 
twenty or thirty miles in a day with as much comfort, appar- 
ently, as people now take in riding in our mo:lern vehicles. 
Sometimes several families would ride in a single cart, and visit 
their friends, go to town for the purpose of shopping, or to 
attend church, etc." 


Wheat and corn were generally ground or pounded in the 
common hand stone mortar; but in larger settlements horse- 
power was used in turning or rolling one large stone upon 
another, as shown in the engraving on page 27. 

V\ ater-power mills for grinding flour in Upper California, 
were hut few, and of the most primitive description; hut none 
better are to be found in the other parts of Spanish America, 



,„.t even in Chili where wheat abounds. These mills eonsistof 
an upright a sle, to the lower end of which is fixed a horizontal 
water-wheel placed onder the building, and to theupper end of 

the millstone; and as there is no intermediate machinery to 
increase the velocity, it is evident that the mill-stone can make 
only the same number o£ revi ilutions as the water-wheel. This 
makes it necessary that the wheel should be of very small 
diameter, otherwise no power of water thrown upon ifc could 
make it goat a rate sufficient to give the mill-stone the requisite 
velocity. It is therefore made of very small dimensions, and is 
constructed in the following manner: A set of what is called 
cuchwas (spoons) is stuck in the periphery of the wheel, 
which serve in place of float-boards ; they are made of pieces of 
timber in something of the shape of spoons, the handles being 
inserted into mortises on the edge of the wheel, and the bowls 
of the spoons made to receive the water, which spouts on them 
laterally and forces the small wheel around with nearly the 
whole velocity of the water which impinges upon it. Of this 
style uf mill even there were not more than three in all Califor- 
nia as late as 1835. 

Russians Settle in Sonoma County.* 

1811. — In January, 1811, Alexander Koskoff, took possession 
of the country about Bodega, Sonoma county, on the fragile 
pleas that he had been refused a supply of water at Verba 
lUiena, and that he had obtained, by right of purchase from 
the Indians, all the land lying between Point Reyes and Point 
Arena, and for a distance of three leagues inland. Here he 
remained for awhile, and to Bodega gave the name of Roman- 
zoff, calling the stream now known as Russian river, Slavianka. 

Although repeatedly ordered to depart by the Kingof Spain, 
who claimed all the territory north of Fuca Straits, they con- 
tinued to remain for a lengthened period, possessors of the land. 


And as General Vallejo remarks: " As the new-comers came 
without permission from the Spanish Government, they may 
be termed the pioneer -squatters 1 of California." So far indeed 
was it from the intention of the unwelcome Muscovite to move, 
that we find them extending their trapping expeditions along 
the coast, to the north and south, >d for a considerable dis- 
tance inland. 

At Fort Ross they constructed a quadrilateral stockade, 
which was deemed strong enough to resist the possible attacks 
of Spaniards or Indians. It had within its walls quarters for 
the commandant, officers, and men, an arsenal, store-houses, a 
Greek church surmounted with a cross and provided with a 
chime of bells. 

eupZT" imiebteJ t0 AlleJ ' B ' ,VC " &Ca ^ thC ,U ° st ** rt of lbi * hUto* or Ruasia,, K 


About one mile distant from the fort there was an inclosure 
containing about five acres, which was inclosed by a fence 
about eight feet high, made of redwood slabs about two inches 
in thickness, these being driven into the ground, while the tops 
were nailed firmly to girders extending from post to post, set 
about ten feet apart. Within the inclosure there was an 
orchard, consisting of apple, prune, and cherry trees. Of these, 
fifty of the first and nine of the last-named, moss-grown and 
gray with age, still remain, while it is said that all the old 
stock of German prunes in California came from seed produced 


We may safely assert, that to these Russians belongs the 
honor of erecting the first church in California, north, of the 
Bay of San Francisco; but this is not all ; to them belongs the 
credit of first planting fruit, raising grain, and working in 
leather, wood, and iron, within the limits of the same territory. 
With these industries in hand, there is not the remotest doubt 
that the Russians looked to a future permanent possession of 
northern California. At this time, too, they made consider- 
able annual shipments of grain to Sitka from Fort Ross and 


The location once chosen they set to work to prepare their 
new homes. A sight was chosen for the stockade near the 
shore of the ocean, and in such a position as to protect all their 
ships lying in the little cove, and prevent any vessel inimical 
to them from landing. The plat of ground inclosed in this stock- 
ade was a parallelogram, two hundred and eighty feet wide 
and three hundred and twelve feet long, and containing about 
two acres. Its angles were placed very nearly upon the cardi- 
nal points of the compass. At the north and south angle there 
was constructed an octagonal bastion, two stories high, and 
furnished with six pieces of artillery. These bastions were 
built exactly alike, and were about twenty-four feet in diame- 

The walls were formed of hewed logs, mortis,,! together at 
the corners, and were about eight inches in thickness. The 
roof was conical shaped, having a small flag-staff at the apex. 
The stockade approached these towers in such a way that one- 
half of them was within the inclosure and the other half on the 
outside, the entrance to them being through small doors on the 
inside, while there were embrasures both on the inside and 
outside. -They were thus arranged so as to protect those 
within from an outside enemy. All around the stockade 
there were embrasures suitable for the use of muskets or 
carronades, of which latter it is said, there were several in the 
tor tress. 



On the northern ride of the eastern angle there was erected 
a chapel which it ia said was aaed by the officers of the gai 
alone Et waa twenty-five by thirty-one Eeet in dimes 
and trongly built, the outer wall forming part of the stockade, 
and the round porl hole Eor the at of c.irronades, are peculiar 
looking openings in & house of worship. The entrance was on 
the inside of the fort, and consisted of a rude, heavy woodi a 
door, held upon w-»iden hinges. There was a vestibule about 
ten by twenty-five feet in size, thus leaving the auditorium 
twenty-one by twenty-five met From the vestibule a narrow 
stair-way led to a low loft, while the building was surmounted 
with two (hunt's, mi*- of which was round, and the other pen- 
tagonal in shape, in which it is said the Muscoviteshad hunga 
chime of bells. The roof was made of long planks, cither 
sawed or rove from redwood, likewise the side of the chapel in 
the fort. 

Tim frame-work of all the buildings was made of very large, 
heavy timbers, manyof them being twelve inches square, The 
raftors were all great, ponderous, round pine logs, a consider- 
able number of them being six inches in diameter. 


To the northward of, and near the village, situated on an 
eminence, was a wind-mill, which was the motor for driving a 
single run of buhrs, and also for a stamping machine used for 
"•rinding tan-bark. The wind-mill produced all the flour used 
in that and the Bodega settlements, and probably a consider- 
able amount was also sent with the annual shipment to 


To the south of the stockade, and in a deep gulch at the 
dehov&hwre of a small stream into the ocean, there stood a very 
large building, probably eighty by a hundred feet in size, the 
rear half of which was used for the purpose of tanning leather. 
There were six vats in all, constructed of heavy, rough red- 
wood slabs, and each with a capacity of fifty barrels; there 
was also the usual appliances necessai-y to conduct a tannery, 
but these implements were large and rough in their make, still 
with these they were able to manufacture a good quality of 
leather in large quantities. 

The front half of the building, or that fronting on the ocean, 
was used as a work-shop for the construction of ships. Ways 
were constructed on a sand beach at this point leading into 
deep water, and upon them were built a number of staunch 
vessels, and from here was launched the very first sea-going 
craft built in California. Still further to the south, and near 
the ocean shore, stood a building eighty by a hundred feet, 
which bore all the marks of having been used as a store-house; 

it was. however, unfortunately b " by a storm on July 

l<; [87 ii there will be nothing to mart its site. 


The Ru I farmed very extensively at this \ 

having at least two thousand acres undei ■ great 

deal thai was not fenced. Thcs fences : : of thai 

kind I rail and p -i 

Their agricultural pro pere as crude a ■ ] M heir 

other work. Their plow was very similar to the old Spanish 
implement, so common in this count] ■ I time and still 

extant in Mexico, with the exception that the Muscovite instru 

mentpo ■ ■ I o mold-board. Thcj employed n and com 

as draft animals, using the old Spanish yoke adjusted to their 
horns instead of to their necks We have no account "f any 
attempt at constructing either carl or wagon bythem,bul il i 

Grist-Mill of Early Settlers. 

probable that they had vehicles the same as those described 
heretofore, as being in use among the Calif ornians at that time. 


Threshing was done on a floor composed of heavy puncheon 
circular in shape, and elevated somewhat above the ground, 
Between the puncheons were interstices through which the 
grain fell under the floor as it was released from the head. The 
threshing was done in this wise: A layer of grain, in the 
straw, of afoot or two in thickness, was placed upon the floor. 
Oxen were then driven over it, hitched to a log with rows of 
wooden pegs inserted into it. As the log revolved, these pegs 
acted well the part of a flail, and the straw was expeditiously 
relieved of its burden of grain. It was, doubtless, no hard job 
to winnow the grain after it was threshed, as the wind blows a 
stiff blast at that point during all the summer months. 

The Russians constructed a wharf at the northern side of the 
little cove, and graded a road down the steep ocean shore to it. 
Its line is still to be seen, as it passed much of the way through 
solid rock. This wharf was made fast to the rock on which it 
was constructed, with long iron bolts, of which only a few that 



hard surface now remain; the wharf itself 
whence we are una* ions, or forbhei 

ccrning it. 


These old Mu ■ I reduced the first lumber 

witl. Q saw ever made north of San Franci - bay, for they 

I,,-! both a pit and a whip-saw, the former of which can be 

,,, thi day. Judging from the number of stumps still 

ling, and the extentof territory over which they extended 

their logging operations, they evidently consumed large quan- 

hii, a of [umber. The timber was only about one mile distant 

from il- ahip yard ami landing, while the stumps of trees cub 

by bhem are still standing, and beside them from one to six 

I,,,,, have Bprung up, many of which have now reached a 

size sufficient for lumber purposes. This growth has been 

remarkable, and goes to show that if proper care were taken, 

each half century would sec a new crop of redwoods, sufficiently 

large for all practical purposes, while ten decades would see 

gigant.ii- trees. 

For more than a quarter of a century they continued to hold 
undisturbed possession of the disputed territory, and prosecuted 
then- farming, stock-raising, hunting, trapping, and ship-build- 
in- enterprises, and, whatever may have been the causes which 
led to it, there finally came a time when the Russian authori- 
ties had decided to withdraw the California colony. 


The proposition was made first by them to the government 
authorities at Monterey, to dispose of their interests at Bodega 
and Fort Ross, including their title to the land; but, as the 
authorities had never recognized their right or title, and did not 
wish to do so at that late date, they refused to purchase. 
Application was nest made to General M. G. Vallejo, but on 
the same grounds he refused to purchase. 

They then applied to Captain John A. Sutter, a gentleman 
at that time residing near where Sacramento City now stands, 
and who had made a journey from Sitka, some years before, 
in one of their vessels. They persuaded Sutter into the belief 
that their title was good, and could be maintained; so, after 
making out a full invoice of the articles they had for disposal, 
including all the land lying between Point Reyes and Point 
Mendocino, and one league inland, as well as cattle, fanning and 
mechanical implements; also, a schooner of one hundred and 
eighty tons burthen, some arms, a four-pound brass field-piece, 
etc.. a price was decided upon, the sum being thirty thousand 
dollars, which, however, was not paid at one time, but in cash 
installments of a few thousand dollars, the last payment being 
made through Governor Burnett, in lS4 n . 

All the stipulations of the sale having been arranged satis- 

fcctorily to both parties, the transfer was duly made, and Sut- 
ter became as he thought, the greatest landholder in California. 
In L859, Sutter disposed of his Russian claim, winch was as.x- 
eighths interest in the lands mentioned above, to William Mul- 
drew, George R. Moore and Daniel W. Welty; but they only 
succeeded in getting six thousand dollars out of one settler, and 
the remainder refusing to pay, the claim was dropped. 


Orders were sent to the settlers at Fort Ross to repair at 
once to San Francisco bay, and ships were dispatched to bring 
them there, where whaling vessels, which were bound for the 
north-west whaling grounds, had been chartered to convey them 
fco Sitka. The vessels arrived at an early hour in theday, and 
the orders shown to the commander, Rotscheff, who immedi- 
ate! \- caused the bells in the chapel tower to be rung, and the 
cannon to be discharged, this being the usual method of eonvo- 
catiiK' the people at an unusual hour, or for some special pur- 
pose, so everything was suspended just there — the husbandman 
left his plow standing in the half-turned furrow, and unloosed 
his oxen, never again to yoke them, leaving them to wander at 
will over the fields; the mechanic dropped his planes and saws 
on the bench, leaving the half-smoothed board still in the vise; 
the tanner left his tools where he was using them, and doffed 
his apron to don it no more in California. 

As soon as the population had assembled, Rotscheff arose and 
read the orders. Very sad and unwelcome, indeed, was this 
intelligence; but the edict had emanated from a source which 
could not be gainsaid, and the only alternative was a speedy 
and complete compliance, however reluctant it might he — and 
thus four hundred people w r ere made homeless by the fiat of a 
single word. Time was only given to gather up a few house- 
hold effects. 


The early success of the missions advertised the attractive- 
ness of California to the world. It became known not only in 
Mexico, but through the early adventurers and traders, in the 
United States. They not only traded in hides and tallow, but 
they told the story of the mission wealth — the herds and flocks 
and fruits, and they told of the furs to be procured. 

The valleys of California were, during the early part of this 
century, occupied and traversed by bands of trappers in the 
employ of the American and foreign fur companies. The sto- 
ries of their wandering and experiences are mostly related in 
the form of sensational novels, whose authenticity and accuracy 
must be taken with a great degree of allowance. 

Few records concerning these fur-hunters remain which are 
within the reach of the historian, ami the information given has 
been gleaned, in part, from personal interviews with those whose 
knowledge of the subject was gained by actual experience or by 






a personal acquaintance with those who 

and aai 

i I] t.- John Oilroy arrived at Monterey on the 5th of I 
1 " ; '' 1814 His I i . , lt }„_. 

imed the name of John Gilray 
circum tone ■ m irth. 

He pi ni mo I "i" hi life around Uonl ■ 
whatiscalled "OklGilroj b borl . from Gilroy, in 

Santa ( ''.'".■' "."I,, wlii.-h places are named from him. 

UPPER -sa\ JOAQ1 EN vai i OBED. 

1820.— As rarly as this date, Tulare, San Joaquin and Sac- 
ramento valleys were occupied by trappers, who had wj 

there whili earching For fchel Jolumbia river. ( laptain Sutter, 
in 1834, while in Now Mexico, heard from these California 

trappers, of the Sacramento valley, which afterwards beci 

so reputed as his home. The disputes arising in regard to the 
occupation of the northern pari of the Pacific coast trapping 
region in Oregon, led the American hunters to occupy the ter- 
ritory in and about the Rocky mountains. 

1820. — John J. Read, when but a mere lad, was taken by his 
uncle, who was a sailor, on a voyage to Mexieo, from thence to 
California, sailing from Acapulco, arriving in the Statu in the 
year L82G, just after attaining his twenty-first year, and, after 
staying a short time in Los Angeles, proceeded northward until 
lie reached Sauei-lito, and there took up his residence. He 
next, in 1827, removed to Sonoma county, and tilled a portion 
of the Ootate Raneho, at the same time making application for 
the grant; but here he was not permitted to remain, for the 
Indians drove him oil', destroyed his crop, and buried his imple- 


Mr. Read came to Saucelito to reside in 1S32, erecting for his 
accommodation near the old town a wooden shanty, from whence 
he plied a small boat regularly to the opposite shore of Yerba 
Buena, and established the Bret ferry on the Bay of San Fran- 
cisco. Mr. Read married, October 13, 1836, at the Church of 
the Mission Dolores, the Senorita Hilarita, the youngest daugh- 
ter o\' Don Jose Antonio Sanchez, Commander of the Presidio 
at Sau Francisco. 


1822.— About the year 1S22, an Englishman landed at Santa 
Cruz, known by the name of William Thompson. He is em- 
ployed in the hide business. There is a touching little story 
connected with him. His native place was London. His 
father was a sail-maker. And there lived the family — 
mother, brothers, sisters and all. William went to sea. They 

■ ith him with i eg a time Uiey 

n him. Years went by and they could get 

no tiding)* of him. The fami and the mother pined 

nd no tidin 
byhisbi h of him. 1 

he did not know where on the globe hi- might be, if still alive, 

and make vo differ- 

ent parts, and fall in with him, or hear of him. 

plan was a 

where he went, I don ■ after a whili 

on a .ship that came into the port of Santo Cruz Etei 
anchored, at that time moth i hip 
of hi li 
Samuel then came ashore ami inquired for the captain of 

thai ihip When be found him, he asked him if i is i,i 

i r< pi thi re we one William Thompson. The captain aid he 
didn't know certainly whethei hi had a man \\ th I nami 
"but there the men are," said he, pointing to them al work on 
the beach, carrying hides, "you ran go and see." Samuel 
went, and the very first man he met was William! \y, ,..,, 
imagine Samuel's joy at the meeting aftei - lonj b earch; 

and the joy, alao,.that the ai mi of il caused in thai I in 

London, when it reached there. But it appears, instead of 
Samuel getting William to go home, that thej both remained 
on this .-oast, 'rhr\ shipped together and went down to South 
America, and then returned to Santa Cruz. 


1823. — The Ashley expedition was fitted out in 1823, at 
St. Louis, for the fur trade. This party entered I he San Joaquin 
valley, and hunted and trapped along ihe Merced, Stanislaus 
and Toulumne rivers. 

Belonging to this company was Joseph Griffith and Wil- 
liam Hawkins, who met first at St. Louis, and afterwards 
hunted in the San Joaquin valley. 

Years rolled on and they were widely separated, and after 
many vicissitudes, of wild adventure, through scenes of peril, 
among hostile Indians and various hair-breadth escapes- 
strange to say, we find them after thirty-two years had passed 
away, settled down to quiet life, each with a family, on the 
Merced river, in 1852, winch locality seems to have impressed 
them as the choicest of the State. 

1823. — Captain Juan B. R. Cooper came to Monterey in 
1823, and obtained a license to hunt otters, as also did some 

1S24. — Santiago MeKinly, a native of Scotland, arrived in 
Los Angeles during the year 1824. He was at that time 
twenty-one years of age. He became a merchant, and his 
name appears on a list of foreigners resident in Los Angeles in 
1836, now on file in the city archives. He afterwards went 
to Monterey, and was reported dead some years ago. 


{m , ndcameDavid n I824,witbtbe 

vi ,. w ,, : packing house in Monterey for a Lima 



1825 In th< ■ ■* ; " Jedediah Smith, witba 

party of forty trappers and Indians, started from the head-quar- 
ting westward, crossed the Sierra 
. , ., n ;I „i in July entered the LTpper San Joaquin 
valley, The country from the Tulare to the American Fork of the 
Sacramento river was traversed in trapping for beaver. They 
found at the fork another party of American trappers encamped, 
and located theic own rendezvous near the present town of 
Folsom. In October, Smith, leaving the remainder of the 
pari v at the camp, returned to the company's head-quarters on 
Green river, 

1826, - In May. 1826, Smith again set out for the new trapping 
region taking a route further eouththan on the first trip,but when 
in bhc Mohave settlement on theCotorado, all the party, except 
Smith. ( lalbraith, and Turner, were killed by Indians. These 
three escaped to San Gabriel Mission, and December 26, 1826, 
were arrested as spies or filibusters. They were taken to the 
presidio at San Diego, where they were detained until the fol- 
lowing certificate from Americans then in San Francisco was 
presented; — 

" We, the undersigned, having been requested by Captain 
Jedediah S. Smith to state our opinion regarding his entering 
the Province of California, do not hesitate to say that we have 
in. doubt but that he was compelled to, for want of provisions 
and water, having entered so far into the barren country that 
lies between the latitudes of forty-two and forty-three west 
that he found it impossible to return by the route he came, as 
bis horses had most of them perished for want of food and 
water; he was therefore under the necessity of pushing forward 
tn California — it being the nearest place where he could procure 
supplies to enable him to return. 

" In testimony whereof we have hereunto set our hand and 
seal, tliis 20th day of December, 1825. 

William G. Daxa, Captain of schooner Waverly. 

William H. Cunningham, Captain of ship Courier. 

William Henderson, Captain of brig Oliva Branch. 

James Scott. 

Thomas M. Robins, Mate of schooner Waverly. 

Thomas Shaw, Supercargo of ship Courier." 

Smith was liberated, and during the summer of 1S27 with 
his party left the San. Joaquin valley, journeying toward the 
Columbia river. 


1S27. — John Temple, who may justly rank as the pioneer 
merchant of Los Angeles, was a native of Reading, Mass., and 

for several years prior to bis advent ou thiscoast, resided at the 
Sandwich Mai.d. He came to Los Angeles about the year 
1827, and formed a partnership with George Rice, opened the 
first store of general merchandise ever established in the pueblo. 
1828 — Abel Stearns, a native of Salem, Mass., spent consid- 
erable time in Mexico, and settled in Los Angeles as a merchant 
in the year 1828. He married Dona Arcadia, .laughter of Don 
Juan Bandini. He obtained large grants of land throughout 
the territory, and accumulated much wealth. He was a 
member of the Constitutional Convention, 1849, and of the 
State Legislature, 1851 ; also 1861. He died at San Francisco, 
August 2:!, 1871. His widow subsequently married Col. R. S. 
Baker— residence, Los Angeles. 


]S29. — Charles Brown, a native of New York, who came 
with Captain Brewster on the whale ship AVoms, in the year 
1829. Ten years later he found his way to the redwoods near 
Woodside, where he settled the Mountain Home Ranch, and 
became the pioneer lumberman of San Mateo county, having 
commenced the erection of the Mountain Home. Mill in 1847. 
He married one of the De Haro family, and now resides at the 
Mission Dolores. 


1S30. — Ewing Young, who had trapped with parties on the 
upper part of the Del Norte, the eastern part of the Grand and 
the Colorado rivers, pursuing the route formerly traversed by 
Smith, in the winter of 1829-30, entered the San Joaquin valley 
and hunted on Tulare lake, and the adjacent streams. 

During the last part of 1S32, or early in 1833, Young. 
having again entered the San Joaquin valley and trapped on 
the streams, finally arrived at the Sacramento river, about ten 
miles below the mouth of the American. He followed up the 
Sacramento to the Feather river, and from there crossed over 
to the coast. The coast-line was traveled till they reached the 
mouth of the Umpqua, where they crossed the mountains to the 
inland. Entering the upper portion of the Sacramento valley 
they proceeded southerly till they reached the American river. 
Then they followed up through the San Joaquin valley, 
and passed out through the Tejon Pass in the winter of 
1 833-4. 

Besides these parties and leaders mentioned, during this period 
there were several trappers, or " lone traders " who explored 
and hunted through the valleys. 


1831.— William Wolfskill was born March 20, 1798, near 
Richmond, Kentucky. Until the year 1831 he roamed through 
the great West as a hunter and trapper. In February of that 



' '•■' \" a Dumber of others, ami 

'"" theparty broke op. Aided by Friar SaneheiLtb 
tg« of San Gabrl he, in company with Natl 

Pryor, Richard Laughlin Bamnel Prei 
late of Napa county, [all Americans; built a school 
Pedro for the purpose "f hunting 


1832 .1- aph Pawlding wa a natii ,i Maryland, and 

entered Calif ia from New M ,, thi winter of 1 n;;- :; 

by way of tli.- Gila river EFj aftei ward traveled] 
in both countrie 1 ti wa a cai pi nfcei by trade, and mi I 
Si i two billiard tabli ever made in I fclifornia tin G I 
1 ; """' Rice and the econd for John Rhea. He died at Los 
\ ngeles, •' 2 1800 


1832. -About the middle of 1 n;i^ another band of trappers, 
under Michael Lafmmboise came in'" San Joaquin vallci from 
Mil- north ami until the next spring spenl the time in trapping 
mi the streams flowing through thegreat valley. The Hudson 
Bay Company continued sending out ii- employes into this until about the year L845. Their trappers in < ';r.Iit". nuia 
belonged to the "Southern Trapping Party of the Hudson 
r.::\ Company," and were divided into smaller parties com- 
posed of Cana liam ami Indians, with their wives. Tin- trap- 
ping was carried on during tin' winter in order to secure a 
good class of furs 

Tin- free trappers were paid ten shillings sterling for a 
prime heaver skin, while the Indians received a moderate 
compensation for their services, 

The outfits and portions of their food were purchased from 
the company 


The Hudson Bay Company employed about ninety or one 
hundred men in this State. Tin- greater part of the Indians 
were fugitives from the missions, and were honest ami peace- 
ably inclined, from the fact that it was mainly to their interest 
to be so. 

From 1832 the chief rendezvous was at. French Camp, 
about five miles south of Stockton. About 1841, the com- 
pany bought of Jacob P. the building he had erected 
for a stove in San Francisco, and made that their business 
center for this territory. 

The agents were Alexander Forbes and William G. Ray. 
The latter committed suicide in 1845. His death, and the 
scarcity of beaver ami otter, causal the company to wind up 
their agency ami business in the territory. 

I tSH HETORlA> .i:\ia 

Mr Forbes was for a lo of yean the British consul 

1 o, and by his genial manners, superior culture, 

and finished education, made a record which places him among 

t, ' , ' n ■'" *'"• State. This gentleman now resides in 

Oakland; and, althou Q j a raeulUes 

air a- strong as ever. His memory i- wonderful, and this 

of l ■ ration, with the vast fund of knowl I . i 

,ri - '" n " f P**' ■* ■ '!'■ has the honor of 

1 lihisl iHfon - | ..,,,.. 

published in London in 1839, , 1:i 

years previous to thi date ol ... 

1832. ■ In 1832 ■ ftmo Thoma Larkin From B 
intendin manufacture flour. Mr Larkin . , [ n 

Monterey, and he probabbj did fai more to bri C iforaia 
under the (Jnited States flag than any other ma 

1833 James Peace, a Scotchman, carn« in1 i thi c ti 

in 1833 having lefl a ship ,,f the Hud on Baj . , 

If was of a somewhat roving dispo ition i ■■ c a< 

quainted with all the earlioi pioneers from Monti n j ■■ thi 
Sonoma District. Wa, with his countryman, John Gilroy, in 
■ s ;nita i 'ho;.' countj . was with Roberl Uvermore, an I2nj li I. 
seaman, who settled and gave the name to tin Livermoj 
valley in Alameda county, ami wa- af New Helvetia, the 
i itabli hment of ' foneral Sutter. 

Probably no foreigner antedated him as a lumberman in tl. 
San Mateo redwoods, a. he was whip-sawing lumber there Ion ■ 
before the Mexican war, during which In- was taken pri om i 
and conveyed to Mexico. 


ls:>:>. — William A. Richardson moved from Saucelifco to 
Verba Buena Sun Francisco), opened a store, and began trad- 
ing in hides and tallow in the summer of 1835. 

Jacob P. LeesL-, for a number of years a resident of Los 
Angeles, in July, 1836, built a store in Serbs Buena. He had 
previously met many ohstacics in obtaining a grant of land 
upon which to locate the building, but by the authority of 
Governor Chico, this was finally effected. 

Previous to the location of Richardson and Llh-s.j. the only 
inhabitants of the pueblo and mission at Yerba Buena were 
Spaniards, Mexicans, and Indians. 


In 1«37 several societies were organized in the American 
States to promote emigration to the Pacific coast. Dunn" 
that and ensuing years, thousands of emigrants journeyed 
across the rocky and snowy mountains, enduring toils and 
hardships indescribable, to settle in California and Oregon 




hvdiewavof HexicoorCape Horn, and soon 
, busmessofth 
f the while population. 

Mohave •** ■■•?" :;:;':; 

, ideaofthe, , kind o£ seUte up to about 184,^ 

:, Bme n rous to -—I and »- .1.1! onlj no. 

uti ;hoS! of the 3t importance. 

,, rn i lis FORBIDDEN To COME. 

The Mexican' C ..,,■■. feeling that California was ahou^ to 

riipf ir country as Texas had done before, passed laws 

ag8 inst the intrusi, B foreigners; but there was, no. power in 

theS i npetcnt to put.thcse edicts into execufaon. 


i ..=ri \nd bv means of it 
\,„1 ;„ due time, it was rendered. Ana ly 

„,, 1 ilvarado and Ms party became 
, ; , n „.,,,. z was sent away, and AJvaraflo an 

t,- of the situation. tf ow «, the toe to, 

nt f the promise of independence of Mexrco. 

m B„ M 1— ^ pnnishing Alvarado, proposes to eon 
tirm him iu his „d authority. Alvavado pleased and 
Leved by thi, his pronn. to GraW 

,:,„ i„ so doing be feels a wholesome fear of those nnes, 
,.,„, Lstance of which he had himself gamed b» promo- 

j linll. 


His first care seem, to have been to disable that little force 
or foreigners, and to put it out of their power to punish his 

I breach of faith. . 

1 Orders are sent out secretly to all the Alcaldes in this part 
of the country simultaneously, on a certain night to arrest 
' foreigners and bring them to Monterey. Jose Castro himself 
I heads the party for the arrest of Graham. 

L833 -Isaac Graham cam, from Hardin county, Kentucky, 
,,, California i n LS33. He settled near Monterey, and Ins 
narao is intimately associated with Santa Cruz and vicinity. 

It is said that he erected on the San Lorenzo, somewhere m 
th fl neighborhood of where bhe powder works now are, the 
first saw-mill in California. 

Early in life he went to New Mexico, and Benjamin D. 
Wilson. met l.irn at, Taos. Mr. Wilson has described him as 
be^ng at that time a very disreputable character. He also 
Bays that Graham left a family in Tennessee, being obliged to 
flee that State to escape the consequences of some offense be 
had committed. 


U, reached Los Angeles in company with Henry Naile 
about 1835, and remained there until the following year, when 
he removed to the ".tfatividad" Monterey county, and 
(according to Mr. Wilson) " established a small distillery in a 
lule but, which soon became a nuisance owing to the disrepu- 
table -character of those who frequented it." 

Graham was a brave and adventurous man, a thorough 
frontiersman, at home with his rifle in his hand, and this had 
become known to the native California officials in Monterey. 

When, in liSSu', Juan B. Alvarado, a subordinate customs 
officer, was plotting revolution and contemplated the expulsion 
of Governor GuiUrrez. he came to Graham and sought his 
assistance, and that of the foreigners who acted with him in 
the matter. 



On condition that all connection with Mexico should be 
severed, and that California should become independent, the 
assistance of Graham and others was promised. 


It was on the morning of the 7th of April, 1840, before 
Uaht that the party reached Graham's dwelling. They broke 
in the doors and shattered the windows, firing at the inmates 
asthey sawthem risingfrom their beds. Oneof the assailants 
thinking to make sure of Graham himself, discharged a pair of 
pistols aimed at his heart, the muzzle touching his cloak, which 
be had hastily thrown over his shoulders. 

Tliis assassin was amazingly surprised afterwards on seeing 
Graham alive, and he could not account for it till he examined 
his holsters, then he found the reason. There, sure enough, were 
the balls in the holsters! The pistols had been badly loaded, 
and that it was that saved Isaac Graham from instant death. 

He was however hurried to Monterey, and placed in confine- 
ment, as also were other foreigners, arrested on that same night. 
What followed is best told in a memorial which these same 
' prisoners afterwards addressed to the Government of the United 
States, asking that Mexico be required to restore their property, 
and compensate them for their injuries and lost time. 

We quote from an unpublished manuscript, which Kev. S. 
H. Willey obtained in Monterey, in 1S49:— 



"To Ms Kccellency, John Tyler, President of the United States: 

" On the morning of the seventh of April, one thousand eight 

! hundred and forty, we, your petitioners, citizens of the United 

States of North America, and many more of our countrymen, 

together with several of H, B. M. subjects, engaged in business 

J in Monterey and its vicinity, were, without any just cause or 

\ provocation most illegally seized, taken from our lawful occu- 



on, many being man untry , and 

1 in it loat 

arrival ol 
twelve day « No warrant or civil process 
■ 'i them al izurc 

doi h of CaliforaL 

daj hi any officii manlier, 
were the sized mr property taken from ua, whal ci 

.it tod, and why trans] criminals to 

'i I Sli ico 

• I'll, p i petratoi if this i ■ t the 

lowed to Ameri t citi 
to treal principal!) o : > , , . 

thin Gove al and acting by authority and command i 

undersigns have heard and firmly believe . of his Exccll qcj 
linn Juan Bauti I i Uvarado, ' lovernor of the two < bliforai is. 

" Soi I u were marched on fool to prison, somi fon 

I their own animals, and, on their arrival al the prison 

door, said animals and oquipmenl taken From them, including 

what was found in thoii pockel and witl naclng, thrust 

into prison. The room in which we were confine I, being ab 

i unity feet square, without being floored, became very damp and 
offeni ive, thereby endangei ing our.hcalth, al timi i. < >ne had to 

il I while anothi r lepl and during the firs! three days not a 

moutliful of food found or offered us by our oppressors, but 
Ln ing on the charity of thorn that pitied us. 

" To our countryman Mr Thomas 0. Larkin, we are bound 
in conscience to acknowledge that he assisted us not only in 
food, but in what other necessaries we at the time stood in 

ii I of and what was allowed to be introduced; some of us 

wore taken out of prison from t'nnu to time and released by 
the intercession offricuda or through sickness, 


" Sight of the prisoners were separately called upon and 
examined by the authorities of Monk-ivy, having as interpreter 
a native of the country (who himself frequently needs in his 
occupation one to interpret for him), there being at the same 
time men far more equivalent for the purpose than he was. but 
they were not permitted; the above-mentioned eight were 
after examination, taken to another apartment and there man- 
acled to an iron bar during their imprisonment in this port. 
After fifteen days confinement, we were sent on board of a vessel 
bearing the Mexican Bag, every six men being shackled to an 
iron bar. and in that condition put into the hold of said vessel 
and taken to Santa Barbara, a sea-port of this province, and 
there again imprisoned in company with the mate of an Amer- 
ican vessel, recently arrived from Boston, in the United States, 
land part of the crew) said vessel being sold to a Mexican, 
resident in this territory, without, asbefore mentioned, any just 
or legal cause being assigned, why or wherefore. 

rUara, wo weie landed and 
f us in irons were pui into an ox -cart, the 
■ >ii f<».t . among the latter some wei tied in 

with much difficulty 
we were put into a room witht il ail 

ring only through asm For th firs! 

inr hours we were no! allow 

■ :. a inn < tne 
becai i coraplel ■ I 1 that for 

time he could do! jp ■' nor s v, allow when watoi v, is I 

to him, and would pired but for the exertions of a 

Doctoi Den, an Irish gentleman living in tho town who with 

h difficulty, obtained admittance to the aufibrei B 
inflm d me \ mei lea n i in I In pi ■■■ food and ■■■. - i 

were at last senl u 

View ot Mon ixi-.iy in 1846. 

"In Santa Barbara our number was increased b) bhi addition 
of more of our countrymen; some of those brought from Mon- 
terey were discharge I an I received passports to return; the 
remainder were marched to the beach, again put in the hold of 
a vessel (in irons;, and in this manner taken to the porl of Sun 
Bias, landed, and from thence, in the midsummer of a tropical 
climate, marched onfoot sixty miles to the city of Topic, and 
there imprisoned. Some time after our arrival we were 
discharged by the Mexican Governor, and 111 the space of 
four hundred and fifty-five days from the commencement of 
our imprisonment, we again returned to Monterey. From the 
day we were taken up until our return we had no opportunity 
to take care of our property; we were not even allowed when 
ordered on board in Monterey, to send for a single garment of 
clothing, nor permitted to carry anj into the prison, but Mich as 
wohadon;and not once during our said imprisonment in 
Monterey, altbough in a filthy and emaciated condition, per- 
mitted to shave or wash ourselves, 

"When in prison, in the hold of the vessel, and on our 
march, we were frequently threatened, pricked and struck 
with swords by the subaltern officers of the Mexican Gov- 




-Our 8ufifering»it. prison, on board ship, and when drove on 

foot i„ a war then ordered to sleep out at night m the 

dcw after being exhausted by the heat and dust, surpass our 
oower of ttfflcriptiun,and none hut those who were with us 
L realize or form a just conception of our distressed 

« For ...anv weeks we wen- fed in a manner different from the 


combined with the unhealthy atateof the country where we 
wore taken to,has caused death to some, and rendered unhealthy 
for life, others of our companions. 

» Up to this time the undersigned sufferers, as aforsaid, have 
,,.,,.„,' .1 n0 Pe dress of their wrongs and losses sustained, not 
l, ;u , fchcy been so much as allowed common facilities for prov- 
ing accounts and establishing just claims, several of the Alcaldes 
of California having positively refused to examine claims or 
toke testimony against the Government, or to otherwise aid 
„„ of the United States in recovering lost property, or in 
,,.| ha just indemnification therefor. 

-Since our return to California from our confinement in 
Mexico Captains Forest and Aulick have visited this port at 
different periods, in command of United States vessels Each 
of those gentlemen took up the subject of our claims and 
ill-treatment, and, as we believe, received fair promises from 
the Governor of the province; but the stay of those officers at 
Monterey having beenlhnitedto a few daysonly, was entirely 
boo short to effect anv good, The Governor's promise, orally, 
made by a deputy to Captain Aulick, on the eve of his de-par t- 
,„■,:. mi far Eroiri being complied with or adhered to, was, as we 
have reason to believe, abrogated by his orders to Alcaldes, not 
to listen to the complaints of Americans, i. e., citizens of the 
United States. 

" In conclusion, we beg leave to add that our grievances have 
not beeD a little heightened by the apparent neglect of our 
native country. The Government of the United States, so far 
as we are apprised up to this time, not having come forward in 
our behalf; whilst our fellow-sufferers, subjects of H. B. M. 
have had their complaints promptly attended by her Minister, 
resident at Mexico, and a man-of-war was sent here to demand, 
and promptly received redress sought for the outrage perpe- 
trated on H. M. subjects. 

- We, the undersigned, citizens of the United States, aforesaid, 
were among the prisoners, some of us to the last day, and have 
never given provocation to the Mexican Government for such 
cruel treatment, nor do we know of any given by our compan- 
ions, and respectfully submit to your notice, the foregoing 
statement of facts, in hopes that through your means, this affair 
will be fully represented, so that the Government of the United 
States will take prompt measures to secure to us indemnity for 
the past, and security for the future, according to the rights and 

i i „. w.r trfiatv existing between our 
privileges guaranteed to us by treaty, exisu e 

Government and Mexico. 

"Isaac GRAHAM, 
« William Chard, 
"Joseph L. Majors, 
»i 'haki.ks Brown, 
•' William Hance, 
« Monterey, Upper California, the Oth of November, 1842." 

William Barton, 
Alvin Wilson, 
Charles H. Cooper, 
Ambrose Z. Tomilson, 

Hknuy Naile. 

Two years later these persons were returned to California 
the charges not having heen proven; and Mexico was obliged 
to pay them a heavy indemnity to avoid serious complication 
with the American ( lovernment. All these died several yean 


It appears that after Alvarado, Castro and company, had got 
their dreaded company of foreigners in confinement on board R 
vessel ready to sail to Mexico, seven citizensof note, of Califor- 
nia, signed and issued the following proclamation, which 
is a. curiosity in itself and illustrative of the men and the 
times: — 

a specimen proclamation. 

"Proclamation made by the Undersigned-.— 

"Eternal Glory to the Illustrious Champion and Liberatoi 
of the Department of Alta California, Don Jose Castro, the 
Guardian of Order, and the Supporter of our Superior Gov- 

" Fellow-Citzem and Friends: To-day, the eighth of May, 
of the present year of 1S40, has been and will be eternally glo- 
rious to all the inhabitants of this soil, in contemplating the 
glorious expedition of our fellow-countryman, Don Jose Castro, 
who goes to present himself before the Superior Government 
of the Mexican nation, carrying with him a number of suspi- 
cious Americans, who, under the mask of deceit, and filled with 
ambition, were warping us in the web of misfortune; plunging 
us into the greatest contusion and danger; desiring to terminate 
the life of our Governor and of all his subalterns; and, finally, 
to drive us from our asylums; from our country: from our 
pleasures, and from our hearths. 

"The bark which carries this valorous hero on Ins grand 
commission goes filled with laurels ami crowned with triumphs, 
ploughing the waves and publishing in distinct voices tu the 
passing billows the loud vivas and rejoicings which will resound 
to the remotest bounds of the universe. Yes, fellow- citizens and 
friends, again we say, that this glorious Chief should have a 
place in the innermost recesses of our hearts, and be held as 
dear to us as our very breath. Thus we desire. and in the name 
of all the inhabitants, make known the great rejoicings with 
which we are filled, giving, at the same time, to our Superior 
I Government the present proclamation, which we make for said 
worthy chief; and that our Governor may remain satisfied, that 



if mbarked for tin; interior of the Rcpn 

. remain under his [the Oovernoi ollhiafel- 

companions in arms, etc., etc." 


I in i ;l great disappointment await-- 1 this heralded hero on hia 
arrival in Mexico. I find the de of itinanother manu- 

Bcripl as follows: — 

"Commandant Castro and hia three or four official fri 
rode into Tepic in triumph, as they thought, and inqoin d Eoi 

the h i the Governor, On their arrival at his Excellency's 

they were refused admittance and ordered to go to prison, which 

of them said could not be compared in comfort to the 

meanest jail or hole in all California. Sere they had time t«> 
ivllrct. on th'-ir sratnlnli.iis conduct to so many human beings. 
Castro was then ordered to the City of Mexico and tried foi hi 
lilV, Mr. Packcnham, the English Minister, having every hope 
of liis being sent a prisoner for life to the prison of San Juan 
de IMoain Vera Cruz. The culprit himself afterwards con- 
fessed that such would have been his fate bad Mr. Ellis, the 
Aui'i'ii-iin Minister, exerted himself equally with Packenham. 

After an absence of two years and expending eight or ten 
thousand dollars, be returned to California a wiser and bet- 
ter man than when he left it, ami never was afterwards known 
to raise a hand or voice against a foreigner. His officers and 
soldiers returned to California in the best manner they could, 
leaving their country as jailors and returning prisoners." 


1885. — Dr. John Marsh arrived at the foot of Mount Diablo 
and purchased the "Ronchos los Kfeganos" in 1SS7, of three 
square leagues of land, and settled upon it in the same year, 
and occupied it afterwards until his death, which occurred in 
1856, The doctor lived in a small adobe house near where he 
afterwards constructed what is known as the "-Marsh Stone 
House." So that the doctor was the first born native American 
citizen who ever resided permanently in this county, or within 
the district comprised in its territorial limits as originally 
defined. It would be difficult now to conceive of a more lonely 
and inhospitable place to live. 

Until about 184-7, Dr. Marsh had no American neighbors 
nearer than within about forty miles, and dwellings on adjoin- 
ing Spanish ranches were from twelve to fifteen miles distant. 

All early emigrant parties made Dr. Marsh's ranch an object- 
ive point, as it was so easily sighted, being at the foot of Mount 
Diablo. All parties met with a cordial reception. 

Sutter's Fort and Marsh's Ranch were the two prominent set- 
tlements in northern California at that date. Dr. Marsh was 
an educated man and an able writer, as will be seen from the 
following letter: — 


Farm of Pou lb St. Fran* t& ■ i 

Upper California, L842, t 

Hon. Lewis Cass- You will prol una 

what Burpri Erom an individn whom 

you have nof I j twenty 

h n i 
both in men and things, the personal identity of as t'"'' 1 
probably been left Zou will, I think, remember a youth whom 
you met at Green Bay in 182 ■ having left hia Alma 

Hater, had jp rat a yt ai or two in the "far mi West," and ■■ 
thru returning to his New England home, and whom you 
induced to turn his face again toward the sotting unj thai 
youth who, but for your influence, would probably rum ■ 
been administering pills in Borne quiet Yanki i \ illage i i now a 
gray- haired man, breeding cattle and cultivating grape vines 

View on San Joaqi in River uy Moonlight. 

on the shores of the Pacific. Vour benevolence prompted you 
to take an interest in the fortunes of that youth, and it is there- 
fore presumed you may not be unwilling to hear from him 

I left the United States in 1835, and came to New Mexico, 
and thence traversing the States of Chihuahua and Sonora, 
crossed the Rio Colorado at its junctiuii with the Gila, near the 
tide-water of Oulph, and entered this territory at its southern 
part. Any more direct route was at that time unknown and 
considered impracticable. 


I have now been more than ten years in this country, and 
have traveled over all the inhabited and most of the uninhab- 
ited parts of it. I have resided eight years where I now live, 
near the Bay of San Francisco, and at the point where the 

TWsiuteri»tin^l£tUra^.:r;[.tKc..tC-ali(')niiailiJrti«thU<callpul(lic«Wnti. l T,t'.'; I 
unknown region. The letter me mitten from the Marsh grant, at the loot of Mount Diablo, 
in Contra Co&ta county. 



;TANT description of the country. 

riven Sacramento and San Joaquin unite together to meet the 

rater of the bay, about forty miles from the ocean. I 

possess at this place a farm about ton miles by twelve in extent, 

; which burden on the river, which is navigable to 

this point for sea-going veasels. I have at last found the far 

and intend to end my ramblinga here. 

I perceive by the public papers that this region of country, 
tin that immediately north of it, which until lately was 
the most completely a terra incognito of anyportionof the 
globe, is at length attracting the attention of the United States 
and Europe. The world, at length, seems to have become awake 
to the natural advantages of I California and Oregon, anditseems 
probable that at the same moment I am writing, their political 
destinies are about being settled, at least for a long time to come. 
I mention the two countries together because I conceive the 
future destiny of this whole region to be one and inseparable. 
The natural conformation of the country strongly indicates it 
and a sympathy and fellow feeling in the inhabitants is taking 
place, which must soon bring about the consummation. Cali- 
fornia, as well as Oregon, is rapidly peopling with emigrants 
from the United States. Even the inhabitants of Spanish ori- 
gin, tired of anarchy and misrule, would be glad to come under 
the American Government. 

The Government of the United States, in encouraging and 
facilitating emigration to Oregon is, in fact, helping to people 
California. It is like the British Government sending settlers 
to Canada. The emigrants are well aware of the vast superi- 
ority of California, both in soil and climate, and I may add, 
facility of access. Every year shorter and better routes are 
being discovered, and this year the great desideratum of a good 
and practical road for wheel carriages has been found. Fifty- 
three wagons, with that number of families, have arrived safely, 
and more than a month earlier than any previous company. 
The American Government encourages emigration to Oregon by 
giving gratuitously some five or six hundred acres of land to each 
family of actual settlers. California, too, gives lands, not by 
acres, but by leagues, and has some thousands of leagues more 
to give to anybody who will occupy them. Never in anv 
instance has less than one league been given to any individual, 
and the wide world from which to select from all the unoccu- 
pied lands in the territory. While Col. Almonte, the Mexican 
Minister to Washington, is publishing his proclamations in the 
American newspapers forbidding people to emigrate to Cali- 
fornia, and telling them that no lands will be given them, the 
actual Government here is doing just the contrary. In fact 
they care about as much for the Government of Mexico as 
for that of Japan. 


It has been usual to estimate the population of Upper Cali- 
fornia at five thousand persons of Spanish descent, and twenty 

thousand Indians. This estimate may have been near the truth 
fc wra ty years ago. At present the population may be stated 
in round numbers at seven thousand Spaniards, ten thousand 
civilized, or rather domesticated Indians. To this may be 
added about seven hundred Americans, one hundred English, 
Irish and Scotch, and about one hundred French, Germans 

and Italians. 

Within the territorial limits of Upper California, taking the 
parallel of 42 c for the northern, and the Colorado river for 
the south-eastern boundary, are an immense number of wild, 
naked, brute Indians. The number, of course, can only be con- 
jectured. They probably exceed a million, and may perhaps 
amount to double that number. 


The far-famed missions of California no longer exist. They 
have nearly all been broken up, and the lands apportioned out 
into farms. They were certainly munificent ecclesiastical bar- 
onies, and although their existence was quite incompatible with 
the general prosperity of the country, it seems almost a pity to 
see their downfall. The immense piles of buildings and beau- 
tiful vineyards and orchards are all that remain, with the 
exception of two in the southern part of the territory, which 
still retain a small remnant of their former prosperity. 


The climate of California is remarkably different from that 
of the United States. The great distinguishing difference is its 
regularity and uniformity. From May to October the wind is 
invariably from the north-west, and during this time it never 
rains, and the sky is brilliantly clear and serene. The weather 
during this time is temperate, and rarely oppressively warm. 
The nights are always agreeably cool, and many of the inhab- 
itants sleep in the open air the whole year round. From 
October to May the south-east wind frequently blows, and is 
always accompanied by rain. Snow never falls excepting in 
the mountains. Frost is rare except in December or January. 
A proof of. the mildness of the winter this moment presents 
itself in the shape of a humming-bird, which I just saw from 
the open window, and this is in latitude 38° on the first day 
of February. Wheat is sown from October until March, and 
maize from March until July. As respects human health and 
comfort, the climate is incomparably better than that of any 
part of the United States. It is much the most healthy country 
I have ever seen or have any knowledge of. There is no dis- 
ease whatever that can be attributed to the influence of the 


The face of the country differs as much from the United 


States a* the climal i by 


. . 
above the 

dwindle to low bilk. They are everywhei 
and vegetation, and many of t] and northern ■; 

rang' "I mountains are level valleys, 01 rathei ■ Bvery 

width, from (i 1 -- mil' to fifty, The magnificent valley tin 
which flow tie i 

dn d m ■'■- tong, ■■■■ ith as n lifu . It 

i intersected lateral!] by mair boun th with 

a a 

The only inhabitants of this valley, which ia capable of 
upporting a nation, are about a hundred and fifty Amcri- 
and a few Indian No published maps that 1 have 

■i : an; c ■' idea of the country, excepting the outline of 

Mm run t 


The Bay of San Francisco is con idercd by nautical men 

as of the fines! horboi in the world. It consists of 

two principal arm . diverging fr the entrance in nearly 

opposite directions, and each about Mfu miles long, with an 
average width of eight or ten. It is perfectly sheltered from 
every wind, has great depth of water, is easily accessible at all 
linns, and space enough for half tin- ships in the world. The 
entrance is less than a mile wide, and could be easily fortified 
so as to make it entirely impregnable. The vicinity abounds 
in the finest timber for ship-building, and in facl everything 
necessary tn iniiLc it n great naval and commercial depot. If 
it were in the hands of a nation who knew how to make use of 
it, its influence wdnld Boon be felt on all the western coast of 
America, and probably through the whole Pacific. 


I think it cannot long remain in the hands of its present 
owners. If it does not come into possession of Americans, the 
English will have- it. This port in their hands, what will 
I tregon be worth to the United States? They loudly threaten 
to get possession of Cuba as an offset against Texas. Will the v 
not be quite as likely to obtain California, as an offset against 
Oregon? A British ship of war was here last summer, whose 
captain was a brother of Lord Aberdeen, and one of her lieu- 
tenants a son of Sir It. Peel. The gentlemen declared openly 
thai this port would shortly belong to them. This I take to 
be only a slight ebullition of John Bullism,but that they want 
this port, and will have it if possible, there can be no doubt, a 
consummation most earnestly and ardently to he deprecated by 
every American. I hope it may direct your views to take an 
interest in this matter. 


Th-- agricultural capabilities of California are but very 
imperfectly developed. The whole of it is remarkably adapted 

U> f: P and brandy of 

quality are made in i ■ quantities, Olives, figs and 

almonds grow w.-ll. &pp] abundant, 

and in the southern , ton is beginning to be 

cultivated, and eU. It is the finest country 

I ha\ i a. Fifty E crop, with 

One hundred fold isnol uncommon, and 

even one hundred and fifty baa been product L Slain pro 

not equal 1 pai if the United 

|i Max and tuhaivn havi- Imvii cultivated i n Q 

small wale, and succeed well. The raising of cattli is the prin- 
i in i suit of the inhabitants, and the most profitable. 
The foreign commerce of Upper ( 'alifornia employs from U a to 
fifteen sail of vessels, mostly large ships. Somewhat more than 
half of these are American, and belong exclusively to the pori 
of Boston. The others are English, French, Russian, Mexican, 
Peruvian and Hawaiian. The French from their Islands in 
the Pacific, and the Russians from Eamtschatka, and their 
establishments on the north west coast, resort hero for provis- 
ions and livestock. The exports consist of hides and tallow, 
cows, lard, wheat, soap, timber and furs. There are slaughtered 
annually about one hundred thousand head of cattle, worth 
$800,001). The whole value of the exports annually amounts 
toaln)iitSl,000.000. The largest item of imports is American 

cotton g Is. The duties on imports are enormously high, 

amounting on the most important articles to one hundred and 
fifty per cent on the original cost, and in many instances to 
four or five hundred. Thus, as in most Spanish countrie . a 
high bounty is paid to encourage smuggling. Whale ships 
visit St. Francisco annually inconsiderable numbers for refresh- 
ments, and fail not to profit by the facilities for illicit commerce. 


California, although nominally belonging to Mexico, is about 
as independent of it as Texas, and must err long skewe the some 
fate. Since my residence here, no less than tour Mexican Gov- 
ernors have been driven from the country by force of arms. The 
last of these, Micheltorena, with about four hundred of his sol- 
diers and one hundred employes, were driven away about a 
year ago. 

This occurred at the time that the rest of the nation was expel- 
ling his master, Santa Ana, although nothing of this was known 
here at the time. The new administration, therefore, with a 
good grace, highly approved of our conduct. In fact, the suc- 
cessive administrations in Mexico have always shown a dispo- 
sition to sanction and approve of whatever we may do here, 
i from a conscious inability to retain even a nominal dominion 
j over the country by any other means. Upper California has 



entirely by its own citizens. 


ar the 

ral an uninhabited and uninhab- 


been governed for the last y 

eo UTM with this part of the country. 


Upper California has a productive gold mine, and silver ore 

J£« I in many places. A mine ot H -ksdver has 

ll„ v , y U* found in this vicinity, which to be 
very valuable. 


" I know not, since you have been so long engaged in more 
take the same interest as formerly in 

weighty concerns, if you 

Indian affairs, but since I have supposed your personal identity 
to remain, I shall venture a few remarks on the Aborigines oi 
California. In stature the California Indian rather exceeds 
the average of the tribes east of the mountains. He is heavier 
limbed and stouter built. They are a hairy race, and some of 
them have beards that would do honor to a Turk. The color 
similar to that of the Algonquin race, or perhaps rather 
lighter. The visage, short and broad, with wide mouth, thick 
lips, short, broad nose, and extremely low forehead. In some 
individuals the hair grows quite down to the eyebrows, and 
they may be said to have no forehead at all. Some few have 
that peculiar conformation of the eye so remarkable in the 
Chinese and Tartar races, and entirely different from the com- 
mon American Indian or the Polynesian; and with this 
unpromising set of features, some have an animated and agree- 
able expression of countenance. The general expression of the 
wild Indian has nothing of the proud and loffcy bearing, or the 
haughtiness and ferocity so often seen east of the mountains. 
It is more commonly indicative of timidity and stupidity. 

,: The men and children are absolutely and entirely naked, 
and the dress of the women is the least possible or conceivable 
remove from nudity. Their food varies with the season. In 
February and March they live on grass and herbage ; clover 
and wild pea-vine are among the best kinds of their pasturage. 
I have often seen hundreds of them grazing together in a 
meadow, like so many cattle. [Descendants of Nebuchadnez- 
zar.— ED.] 

"They are very poor hunters of the larger animals, but 
very skillful in making and managing nets for fish and food. 
They also collect in their season great quantities of the seeds 
of various grasses, "which are particularly abundant. Acorns 
are another principal article of food, which are larger, more 
abundant, and of better quality than I have seen eleswhere. 
The Calif or nian is not more different from the tribes east of 
the mountains in his physical than in his moral and intellectual 
qualities. They are easily domesticated, not averse to labor, 

havo a natural aptitude to learn mechanical trades, and, I 
believe, universally a fondness for mus.c, and a fachty m 
acquiring it. 


-The Mission of St. Joseph, when in its prosperity, had one 
hundred plough-men, and I have seen them all at work in one 
field each with his plough. It had also fifty weavers, twenty tan- 
ners thirty shoe-makers, forty masons, twenty carpenters, ten 
blacksmiths, and various other mechanics. They are not nearly 
so much addicted to intoxication as is common to other Indians. 
I was for some years, of the opinion that they were of an 
entirely different race from those east of the mountains, and 
they certainly have but little similarity. The only thing that 
caused me to think differently is that tbey have the same 
Moccasin game that is so common on the Mississippi, and what 
is more remarkable, they accompany it by singing precisely 
the same tune! The diversity of language among them is 
very great. It is seldom an Indian can understand another 
who lives fifty miles distant; within the limits of California 
are at least a hundred dialects, apparently entirely dissimilar. 
Few or no white persons have taken any pains to learn them, 
as there are individuals in all the tribes which have commu- 
nication with the settlements who speak Spanish. 


The children, when caught young, are most easily domesti- 
cated, and manifest a great aptitude to learn whatever is taught 
them ; when taken into Spanish families, and treated with 
kindness, in a few months tl^ey learn the language and habits 
of their masters. When they come to maturity they show no 
disposition to return to the savage state. The mind of the 
wild Indian, of whatever age, appears to be a tabula rasa, on 
which no impressions, except those of mere animal nature, 
have been made, and ready to receive any impress whatever. 
I remember a remark of yours some years ago, that " Indians 
were only grown-up children.' 1 Here we have a real race of 
infants. In many recent instances when a family of white 
people have taken a farm in the vicinity of an Indian 
village, in a short time they would have the whole tribe for 
willing serfs. They submit to flagellation with more humility 
than the negroes. Nothing more is necessary for their complete 
subjugation but kindness in the beginning, and a little well- 
timed severity when manifestly deserved. It is common for 
the white man to ask the Indian, when the latter has commit- 
ted any fault, how many lashes he thinks he deserves. 


"The Indian, with a simplicity and humility almost incon- 
ceivable, replies ten or twenty, according to his opinion of the 
magnitude of the offense. The white man then orders another 



Indian t<» inflict tin- punMuiieiii, which is received without the 

,i resentment or discontent, This I have myself 

witnessed or I could hardly have believed it. Thronghout all 

< lalifbi in ■ thi Indians are the principal la] rithout then 

ineaa of the country could hardly be carri- 

"I feai I Epected length of this desultory epistle will be 

tedious to you, but I hope it will serve at Least to diversify 
your correspondence. If 1 can afford you any information, ..r 
be orvicable to you in any way, 1 beg yon to command 
Any communication to me can bo sent through the American 

M bi a< Slexico.or the Commanding Officer of the Squad- 

,,,„ IM th e Pacific, directed to the care of T. 0. Larkin, Esq.. 
American < lonsul in Monterey. 1 am. sir. very respectfully, 
" Your obedient servant, 

- Hon. Lewis Cass. Johw Kabsh." 

Dr, Marsh was murdered on the 24th of September, 1866 
I, occasioned much excitement at the time, as the Doctor was 
one of the oldest residents of the State- The murderers were 
Mexicans, who followed him as he was on the road towards 
nomQ i,,,,,, pstfheco. The discovery of the horse and buggy in 
Martin-/, at early daylight was the first knowledge of theaffair. 
One of the murderers was arrested the next day. He was 
tried, but escaped from jail and eluded pursuit for ten years. 
Ho was again arrested withhis accomplice, P. Moreno, who 
was sentenced to State prison for life, while the first was 


1840.— In the first five years of the decade commencing 
with L840, there began to settle in the vast Californian valleys 
fch at intrepid band of pioneers, who, having scaled the Sierra 
Nevadas with their wagons, trains, and cattle, began the civil- 
izing influences of progress on the Pacific coast. Many of them 
had left their homes in the Atlantic and Southern States, with 
the avowed intention of proceeding direct to Oregon. Onarrival 
at Fort Hall, however, they heard glowing accounts of the 
salubrity of the Californian climate and the fertility of its soil; 
they therefore turned their heads southward and steered for 
bhe wishod-for haven. At length, after weary days of toil 
and anxiety, fatigued and foot-sore, the promised land was 
gained. And what was it like ? 


The valleys wore an interminable grain field; mile upon 
ro Ue and acre after acre, wildcats grew in marvellous profu- 
sion in many places to a prodigious height-one glorious green 
of w ild waving corn-high overhead of the wayfarer on foot, and 
BbouMer-higta with the equestrian; wild flowers of every pris- 
matic shade charmed the eye, while they vied with each other 
in the gorgeousness of their colors, and blended into dazzling 

One breath of wind and the wide emerald expanse rippled 
iu-If into >pace. while with the heavier breeae came ft swell 
whose rolling waves beat against the mountain ados, and, 

hr-away horhson; shadow 
pursued shadow in a long, merry ••base. 

The air was filled with the hum of bees, the chirrup of birds, 
and an overpowering tragi ions plants. The bill- 

overrun as they wen with a den 
jungle, were hard to penetrate, while in Bomc \ ortionn the 
dark gloom of the forest lent relief to the eye The 

almost boundless range was intersected throughout with d 
gent trails, whereby the traveler moved From poinl to point, 
progress being, as it were, in darkni "' of it-- height 

of the oats on either side, and rendered dangerous in the 
valleys by the bunds of antaxnc I cs 
introduced by the missions and early Spanish ' 


found food and shelter on the plains during the night; at dawn 
tbey repaired to the higher grounds to chew the cud and bask 
in the sunshine. 


What a life was that of the early pioneer, and how much of 
life was often crowded into a year, or, sometimes, even into a 
day of their existence! Now, that the roads are all made, 
and the dim trail has been supplanted by well-beaten and 
much-traveled highways, how complacently we talk and write 
and read of their deeds and exploits. The writer of fifty years 
hence will be the man who will have the license to color up the 
heroic deeds of valor, and set forth in fitting words a proper 
tribute to the valor and prowess of the generation that is 
just now passing from our midst. We of to-day cannot, dare 
not, say it as it should be, for there are living witnesses who 
would say it was too highly colored— too romantic, too 




Ithfl been ,,. :,],..- the wilderness and change it 

grain. Toil and priva- 

D little appreciate now, was their lot for 

:■ and ren nohousesa* all, butasimple 

. ... an Indian wicl eupeheltered them from the vigors 

of the Btorm and fcto inclemency of the weather. The wild 
of the woods were their night visitors, prowling about 
and making night hideous with their unearthly noises, and 
working the u rv< of women, and often, perhaps of men, up 
to a tension that precluded the possibility of sleep and rest, 
Neighbors lived many miles away, and visits were rare and 
highly appreciated. 


Law and order prevailed almost exclusively, and locks and 
liars to 'loor-, were then unknown, and the only tiling to fear 
in human shape were the p-i-tty depredations by Indians. For 
food they hail the fruit of the chase, which afforded them 
ample meat, but bread was sometimes a rarity, and appreciated 
when had as only those things are which tend most to our com- 
fort, and which we are able to enjoy the least amount of. But 
they were happy in that life of freedom from the environments 
of society and social usage. They breathed the pure, fresh air, 
untainted by any odor of civilization; they ate the first fruits 
of the virgin soil, and grew strong and free on its strength 
and freedom. 


The southern portion of California was essentially Spanish 
and Mexican in its population, while the northern part was left 
to the occupation of foreigners. The Sacramento valley was 
comparatively unnoticed until after the settlement of Captain 
John A. Sutter at New Helvetia, but following that event, it 
became the theater for grand operations and achievements. 
Sutter's Fort was the neucleus about which congregated nearly 
all of the early emigrants, and the annexation of California 
is largely due to the influence of that gentleman and those 
associated with him. Ever hospitable and generous, he was a 
friend to whom the early settlers and explorers repaired for 
advice and sustenance. 

1S39.— Captain John Augustus Sutter was born in Baden, 
Germany, at midnight, February 28, 1S03, of Swiss parents! 
After the completion of his education he became a captain in 
the French army, but becoming tired of the superficial nature 
of French society and customs, he set out for America, to find 
some secluded spot where he might surround himself with a 
home and associations more in consonance with his ideas and 
tastes. New York was reached m July, 1S34, and from th,-re, 
after a sojourn of only one month, the Captain went to the far- 

famed " West." From here he journeyed to New Mexico and 
having heard of the marvelous beauty and fertility of Califor- 
nia, he joined a party of trappers, expecting soon to reach his 
destination. But the journey ended at Fort Vancouver, and 
Captain Sutter's only way to reach California was to go to the 
Sandwich Islands and from there to take a sailing ship to Mon- 
terey. After waiting a long time in Honolulu betook passage 
in a ship bound for Sitka. By singular good luck the vessel 
was driven into San Francisco bay, July 2, 1839. 

Captain Sutter, having reached the goal of his ambition, 
received permission from the Mexican authorities to select a 
place for settlement in the Sacramento valley, After much 
difficulty he finally succeeded in reaching the junction of the 
Sacramento and American livers. 

sutter's fort located. 

A location was made, and Captain Sutter commenced the 
construction of a house. Thespot was named " New Helvetia," 
in honor of his mother-country. On account of the strength, 
armament and formidable appearance of the buildings, the 
place w r as called by all the early settlers " Sutter's Fort," which 
name is even now the most general one. This fort was com- 
menced in island finished in 1844. In 1841, when hisgrant 
of land wus to be made, it became necessary to have a map of 
the tract, and he employed for that purpose Captain Jean Vioget, 
a seaman and Swiss by birth. The survey was made by lines 
of latitude and longitude. Sutter made his application under 
this survey of 1S41, the same year the map was completed. 
The Mexican laws allowed only eleven leagues to be granted to 
any one person, but Sutter's map contained fifty leagues or 
more. Nevertheless, he got the idea that he could hold it, and 
with this came the idea that he could sell it. The original 
claim embraced a considerable portion of Sacramento and Placer 
counties, all of Sutter, the valley portion of Tuba, and a little 
point of Colusa. 

1840. — In the early part of 1839 a company was made up in 
St. Louis, Missouri, to cross the plains to California, consisting 
of D. G. Johnson, Charles Klein, David D. Button, mentioned 
earlier as having come to the country with Captain Smith, and 
William Wiggins. Fearing the treachery of the Indians this 
little band determined to await the departure of a party of 
traders in the employ of the American Fur Company, on their 
annual tour to the Rocky Mountains. At Westport they were 
joined by Messrs. Wright, Gegger, a Doctor Wiselzenius and 
his German companion, and Peter Lassen, also two missionaries 
with their wives and hired man, en route for Oregon, as well 
as a lot of what were termed fur trappers, bound for the mounts 
ains, the entire company consisting of twenty-seven men and 
two women. At Fort Hall, Klein and Wiselzenius returned, 
thus reducing the number to twenty-five. 

In September, 1S39, the company reached Oregon, and so- 






journed - the winter of thai rear; bat in May. nigb I- -which m 

1840, a rived with m 

injj to Uracil a< ' Wifonua on ber return Mr. William 

diate home bul of tti <» M WttD " 

now of Monterey, the narrator of ; lition, an-, m- 

three companions from Misuari, among whom was David 1» 
Dutton, al preaenl a resident of Vai »lano count] 

hi board. 

The vessel pat in at Bodega, whei 

Mexican commandanl Iters to prevent them 

from landing. A,t this crisis, tb irdered the 

Mexican oldiera to leave 01 i n They then retired. 

Sere our travelers were at a atand --till, with qo meai 

Jin .-liii^' mi their j -ney, or of Hnding their way out ol 

inhospitable country; they therefore penned the following com- 
munication i«> the American Consul, then at Monterey:— 

Poet Bodeoa, -inly 25, 1840. 
" To the American Consul of California— 
"DearSir: We, the undersigned citizens of the United 

States, being desirous to land in the country, and having l n 

refused a passport, and been opposed by the Government, we 
write to you, sir, for advice, and claim your protection. Being 
short of funds, we are not able to proceed further on the ship 
We hove concluded to land under the protection of the Rus- 
sians; we will remain there fifteen days, or until we receive an 
answer from you, which we hope will be as soon as the circum- 
stances of the ease will permit. We have been refused a pass- 
port from t ieneral Vallejo. Our object is to get to the settle- 
mentB.or bo obtain a pass to return to our own country. Should 
we receive no relief, wo will take up our arms and travel, con- 
sider ourselves in an enemy's country, and defend ourselves 

with our guns. 

" We subscribe ourselves, 
" Most respectfully, 

•■ David Dutton, Wm. Wiggins, 
"John Stevens, J. Wright." 
" Peter Lassen, 

important pioneer party. 

1841.— May 8,a party of thirty-six persons left Independence, 
Missouri, bound to California. They passed near Salt Lake to 
Carson river, and then to the main channel of Walkers river. 
Near its source they crossed the Sierras, and descended into the 
San Joaquin valley. Tlu-y crossed the San Joaquin river at 
the site of the present railroad bridge; and, reaching the ranch 
of Dr. Marsh, at the base of Mount Diablo, the eyes of the party 
were refreshed with the first signs of civilization which had 
greeted them from the tame of leaving Fort Laramie. 
* Of this adventurous little band who Wave I the hardships and 
dangers of a journey, then occupying months, which can now 
he compassed within a week, a number are still living in Cali- 
fornia, among whom may be mentioned General John Bidwell, 
of Chico— of which he is the honored founder— having filled 

. ber prominent --f tl 


emigrants : 
iportanl parte in the early history of California that a 
is append 

■ ; ,i of the parlg , Returned to 
[a now dead. 


i. in St. B 

| ! I 

i. Stockton. 

i: ides in foonti ills, Napa county. 

Re ides in San r i eo 

Resides in ' >regon. 

i; Idea in \ oca* ill* , Sol ooiinty. 

Boturm I to Mi i 

Resides in Pennsj \\ anio 
i;. turned to Missouri. 

« " " and died 

" " '* and died 

11 X " 

" " " and died. 
Unknot a, 

t .,i. .1 B. Baetli 

i |] \. JOHM B I DWELL, 

Col, Joseph B. cuius 



Michael < '. Nye, 
Green WcM ^hon, 

\il [ON SI' M '.hun, 

Talbot M Gbi ■ 
Ambrose \\ alton, 
John McDowell, 


( !ol. Robert Rtckm w 

Charles Flo-gob, 

Gwinn Patton, 

William BeLTV, 

Benj. KELSET,and wife, Reside in Santa Barbara county 

\mh:i,\V KeLSEY, 

James John, 
Henry Brolaski, 
James Dawson, 
m lj0h \\ alton, 
George Shortwell, 
John Swartz, 

Grove C. C 

D. W. Chandler, 
Nicholas Dawson, 
Thomas Jones, 
RobertH. Thomes, 
Elias Barnett, 
J. P. Springer, 

Killed by Indians at Clear Lake. 

Went to Oregon. 

Went to Callao, thence to Mil jouri. 

Drov 'i'"l in Columbia rivi r. 

J Irowned in Sacra men to river. 

Accidentally shot on the- journey. 

Died in California. 

Died at San Jose", Cal. 

Died at San Francisco. 


Died -March 26, 1878, at Tehama. 
Lives in Vountville, Napa county. 
Died at or near Santa Cruz. 


18*1.— It is a fact that there was not a house in the Sacra- 
mento or San Joaquin valleys in 1841, except Sutter's. He 
had one adobe house and a few huts, but his fort was not com- 
pleted until sometime afterwards. 

After the settlement of New Helvetia, the next point where 
a dwelling was located was about two miles north-east of the 


on the America river, in L841 

.„ for Captain Bias Crimea and ffiram Grimes, to* 

i afterwards sold it. Ii made a fane ranch and£ann,and 
was extenaively stock 

1842. Nicolaua Allgeicr, in L842, was placed on whs 
known as the town of Nic ■ m on the east bank of Featiu c 
river. Thfl nexi two placeswere settled almost simultaneously 
in the fail of this year. Hock Farm, which subsequently 
became the home of Captain Sutter, was established and made 
hi principal tock-farm, the animals ranging over that part of 
Sutter county lying west of Feather river, and south of the 
Bui te mountains. 

The land in the vicinity of Marysville was leased to Theo- 
dorc Cordua. Cordua made a stock-farm of it to a limited 
extent, ttarysville i> located where he erected, at what is now 
th e |',„,|. ,,[• ii ,,(,■,.,■ t, an adobe dwelling-house, a store-house or 
trading room, culinary department and out-houses. The walls 
of the dwelling were thick, and well constructed for withstand- 
ing a siege. The spot was named "New Mecklenburg" by 
i laptain Sutter, in honor of the place of nativity of Cordua. 
It. soon became known, however, as Cordua's Ranch. 

William Gordon settled on his ranch on Cache creek, in 
Yolo county, in the fall of 1S42. The place now known as 
Vacaville was settled about the same time by Manuel Baca, 
from New Mexico. 


In the fall of 1843, a party arrived across the plains via 
Fort Boise and Pitt river. They came down the west bank 
o\' the Sacramento river into what is now Colusa county, and 
crossed the river below the mouth of Stony creek and went over 
to Feather river. 

Major P. B. Redding, who was with this party, sketched the 
land about the mouth of Stony creek, and not being entitled to 
receive a grant himself, gave the map to the wife of Dr. Stokes, 
of Monterey, who was a Mexican woman, and she obtained a 
grant, giving Redding two leagues, or perhaps half the grant, 
for his locations. This was the first grant made within the 
limits of Colusa county, and the first settler on the grant was 
a man by the name of Bryant, who built a house and raised 
some corn in 1846. 

Wolfskill settled on his grant on Putah creek, south of 
Cache creek, and south of Gordon's grant, in 1843. 

General John Bidwell says: "In my trip up the valley, 
in 1843, I went as far as the present town of Red Bluff. 
I was in pursuit of some stolen animals, and was in haste to 
overtake a party going to Oregon, which I did, and recovered 
the animals. My party consisted of Peter Lassen, James Bru- 
ham, and an Indian. 

" In the summer of 1S43, a company arrived from ' the States' 
via Oregon, where they had wintered. This party was under 
the lead of L. W. Hastings, and N. Coombs, of Napa, was one of 

the party. Hastings was so well pleased with the land lying on 

the west hank Of the Sacramento river just heloW the present 

town of I '"lusa. thai he got me to make a map of it, intending 
to apply for a grant He did not succeed, however. Some 
two or three of Hastings' party— their names I do not now 
recall— were in the habit of shooting at Indians, and had killed 
two or three before reaching the I Solusa village, which was the 
only known point within about forty miles above, and thirty 
miles below, where horses could be watered from the river. At 
last the Indians became alarmed, and the tribe ahead had notice 
of the coining of the Oregon party. Onattcmpting toapproaoh 
the river at Colusa the Indians attacked them. For this they 
were reported hostile, and Sutter went with about forty men— 
mostly Indians whom he had taught the use of fire-arms and 
whom he employed as hunters and trappers— and punished 
them severely. Many Indians were killed— mostly of the Willy 
tribe. Sutter's forces crossed the river six or seven miles above 
Colusa on a bridge built by tie Indians— the Due-Dues, I 
believe— for fishing purposes. This bridge was about sixty feet 
wide and very long, for the river was wide but not deep. 


" On my return from Red Bluff in March, 1843, I made a 
map of this upper Sacramento valley, on which most of the 
streams were laid down, and they have since borne the names 
then given them. 


184,4, — » p e ter Lassen then selected what became his grant 
on Deer creek (now in Tehama county), and it was the first 
place selected and settled north of Sutter's grant. He started 
there in December, 1843, but camped at Sutter's Buttes (now 
called Marysville Buttes or Butte mountains) till January or 
February, 1844, before proceeding to his destination. Several 
other places were examined and mapped in 1843, but little was 
done in this line till 1844, because those who wanted the land 
had not been here long enough to become citizens and be entitled 
to receive a grant." 

Knight's grant, on the Sacramento river, was settled by 
himself, in 1844. 

The next settlement was by Peter Lassen, in Tehama county, 
on Deer creek. Lassen started to take possession of the land 
in December, 1843, but did not -reach his destination till Janu- 
ary or February, 1S44. The settlement by Samuel Neal and 
David Button on Butte creek, about seven miles south of Chico, 
was made in 1844. About the same time Edward A. Farwell, 
with. Thomas Fallon, settled on his grant on Chico creek, about 
a mile below the present town site of Chico. The same year, 
but a little later, a settlement was made on the present property 
of General John Bidwell. by William Dickey, who obtained the 




1844. -A band of hardy pioneers worked their laborious 

fcn B n 'I"' drifting mow of the mountains, and en 

,! " beautiful Ban -i A u M , Tll remaini 

hi.s snow-bound camp a* DonncT lake nntil returning 
made bis re* ible. 

i hi pari con i I d of twenty-three men: John i 
Captain Stevens, now a resident of Kern county, California; 
Jo oph Fo tei ; Dr. Townaend; Un n M ntgomi rj ; 
Schallenberger, now living in San Jo California; 0.0 
wood and his two sons, Jondand Britt; Jaim ffillei now of 
Ban Rafael California; Mr Calvin; William Martin; Patrick 
Martin; Dennis Martin; Martin Murphy and his five 
Mi ll itchcoek and son. 

Thoy left Council Bluffs May 20, L844,enroute to California, 
of the fertility of who - oil and the mildness of whose climate 
glowing account had been given, 


Thedangoraof tHeaplains and mountains were passed, ami 
thif party reached tho Humboldt river, when an fadian named 
Truckee presented himself, and offered to guide them to Cali- 
fornia, Aiter questioning him closely, thej employed him a 
thoir guide, and as fchoy progressed, found that the statements 
ho had made about the route were fully verified, He soon 
became a great favorite among them, and when they reached 
ilir lower crossing of tho Truckee river, now Wadsworth, they 
gave Ins name to the beautiful stream, so pleased were they bv 
the pure water and abundance of Ssh to which ho had directed 
them. The stream will over live, in history, as the Truckee 



1845. William Hardy came ashore from a whale-ship in the 
latter part of the year 1845. He first went to work, as a car- 
penter for Thomas (>. Larkin in Monterey. He had not been 
employed in this way long before Roselean and Sansevain Bent 
over to Monterey for carpenters to come to Santa Cruz and 
build a schooner. Mr, Hardy came, among others, and they 
went to work on the vessel. The vessel was completed in 
184G, and was called the Santa Oruz, and sailed to the Sand- 
wich Islands to be coppered. She returned, and was lost at 


W, C. Moon settled at " Moon's Ranch," Tehama county, 
in 1845, and with him a noted hunter and Indian fighter 
by the name of Merritt. They, with Peter Lassen, made 
a large canoe-load of grindstones on Stony creek in 1845, 
and packet! them on mules over twenty miles to the river. 

They told a bw at Batters Fort, an , ,,,1 ft u 

around the Bay of s^n Francisco When Un canoe lefl 
ramento, it was laden t.. within six inches of the I p Sa th.y 
. from point to point, the >. of 

I anything bol q for 

inland navigation. 


In the year 1845, William Blackburn i i 

He came over the plains from Independence, Missouri, and 
"' here in October. He was a native of \ irginia, 
born in IM4 Ho - ami ovei the i ml j in i ipany with 
■ B 3nj li r I - »rge McJ ' -u i! and Harvey Sp 
[ i fcher on the Zynnto and wenl I i making 

William Blackburn was a cabinet-maker by ti 
and in the year 1844 worked at that burint - in Mew ' >rl 
Bui men arriving in California of course, took hold of any 
business that would pay. So these men teem to have be a still 
engaged in lumbering and Bhingle-making when the Bear Sag 
wenl up in S 'noma. 

When tho Bear Flag battalion came marching down toward 
Monterey early in July, 1846, William Blackburn and his 
associates joined it. Just now, too, the dnited States Sag 
went up in Monterey, and the battalion went south to see that 

its authority was acknowledged. In due ti Blackburn 

returned to Santa Cruz and went into the merchandi in 
business in the adobe building fronting un the upper plaza. 

In the year IS+7, he was appointed alcalde by < lovernor 
Mason, and for a year or two di pen ed justice in a way 
peculiarly his own. 


Many curious illustrations of it could be given, but we will 
instance one or two. Many enlarged stories have ben told of 
■Judge Blackburn, but these here mentioned are taken from the 
records, or from living witnesses' statements. 

The alcalde records in the County Clerks office of date of 
August 14, 1S47. show that on that day a jury tried Pedro 
Gomez for the murder of his wife. Barbara i: M |„,. z ;U1( ] f, mi|( j 
him guilty. 

Sentence of the Court: "That the prisoner be conducted 
back to prison, there to remain until Monday, the 10'th of 
august [two day- only] and then be taken out and shot." 

"August 17. Sentence carried into effect on the 10th 
accordingly. W. Blai kburn, Alcalde," 

Pretty summary justice that: It should, perhaps, be stated 
that, according to law, Judge Blackburn ought to have reported 
the trial of this criminal to the higher court in Monterey, and 
have had the action of his court sanctioned, before the execu- 
tion. For some reason he did not do this, but had the criminal 
shot, and then reported both the trial and execution to head- 
quarters ! 



This did not*] ! 

even id that lawless time, and wme pretty ,harp c 
,.„,- f.,';. tremor and Judge Blackburn 

Tliis exact oom :a '" navo ueen 

\ TOUCHING a i.m 

But then quence on the 21st of August, before the 

court, that is tc adeed Jbsepha Gomez and Belinda 

G cnez, orphan children of the murderer father and the mur- 
dered mother, won broughl inl t court— two little girls — to be 
disposed of by the < 'ourt 

The Courl gavi Balinda eleven y-.w old, to Jacinto Castro 
■ to raise" until she was twenty-one years of age, unless she 
was sooner married ; the aaid Jacinto Oastro obligating him- 
Belf to give her a goo I i ducation, and three cows and calves at 
her marriage, or when she arrives of age. 

The Court gav.' Josepha, nine years oh 1. to Alexander Rod- 
eriguez, with some similar provision for her education and care. 
But it is n sorry feeling that comes over us as we seem to sec 
those pooi' little orphan girls parted there to go among stran- 
gers, it is hoped their lives have been less a grief than their 


But in court, still further, November 27, 1S47, the case of 

A. Rodetiguez us. one C ; plaintiff sued defendant, a 

hoy, for shearing his horse's mane and tail off. It was proved 
that the defendant did the shearing. 

An eye witness of the trial says, that when it came to the 
matter of the sentence, Judge Blackburn looked very grave, and 
his eyes twinkled a good deal, and he turned to his law book, 
and examined it here and there, as if looking up authorities 
touching a very important and perplexing ease. All at once 
he shut up his boob, sat back in his chair, and speaking with a 
solemn tone, said: — 

" I find no law in any of the statutes applicable to this case, 
except in the laws of Moses — ' An eye for an eye, and a tooth 
for a tooth.' Let the prisoner be taken out in front of this 
office, and there be sheared close." 

The sentence was literally carried into effect, to the oreat 
satisfaction and amusement of the native inhabitants, who 
expressed their approval by saying, "It Reived him right!" 

blackbuiin's career. 

In 1845 he crossed the plains fro^i Independence, Missouri, 
to California, in the company qf Jacob R. Snyder, George 
Williams, George McDougal, and Henry Speel, all beino- lead- 
ing men in the company. They arrived in this county in 
October of that year, and settled on the Zyante, where Black- 
burn, Snyder, and McDougal engaged in the shingle business 

Hall for Oregon, but 

lefl tii.- party at !"■■■ 

in California in 1846. 

Blackburn, with nil of these fellow-travelers, was in Fre- 
mont's battalion, under the Bear flag, Blackburn being First 
Lieutenant of Artillery, Company F,— Captain McLane. At the 

battle of Buenaventura, Lieutenant Blackburn fired the first 
gun, loading and handling it During that campaign. Snyder 
was the Quartermaster. They continued in the service till the 
treal y of I louenga, when they returned to Santa Cruz a-s their 
home, Blackburn opening a store on the Old Plaza, which was 
also an open hotel, for no white man was ever asked pay for 
supper or lodging; but anything there was in the house was at 
the service of the guest; open-handed hospitality being the 
character of host and people in those primitive times, here 
ii-: elsewhere, throughout California. McDougal settled in 


During those stormy periods of anarchy and lawlessness, he 
performed the duties of the office to the entire satisfaction of 
all; and although his decisions cover points of all the varied 
questions of jurisprudence, we believe none have ever yet been 
reversed by any higher court. His pretensions were not based 
on Coke or Littleton, but on common sense and justice. The 
records of his court are as amusing as the jokes of " Punch." 

Blackburn, as Judge, was always anxious that the law and 
justice should be fully and quickly vindicated, and, after passing 
sentence, would give no delay to its execution; for, although 
it was the rule for his decisions to be sent to the Governor for 
approval, they were generally sent after the execution, so that 
there should be no chance for a delay of justice. Although 
that might seem to be summary proceeding, yet it met the 
approval of the people over whom he governed, but at times 
was the cause of some sharp and terse correspondence between 
himself and his superiors. 

In 1848 he resigned his office to go to the gold region. He 
returned to Santa Cruz in lS-b'.), and was appointed a Justice 
of the Peace under the Territorial Government. 


In 1851 he settled on his homestead in Santa Cruz, and 
commenced farming in company with his brother, Daniel Black- 
burn, and they planted the bottom with potatoes, and such was 
the enormous yield of the whole bottom that at thirteen cents 
per pound, the then price of potatoes, the yield was nearly 
8100,000; and for several years the profits of potato raising 
were enormous. Where the house now stands, four acres yielded 
$1,200 worth of potatoes to the acre; they were early, and 
brought 12i cents per pound. Next year thirteen acres were 
rented to Thomas Weeks at §100 per acre, full payment in 
I advance. 





Prom this- place tbi 3 i unplet of potatoes of row 

Palace Fair at New fork, and received a premium f 

tin. I potato over known, l-'i here alto was derived the 

feme whicl tiolda ->f producing fin 

I" iMs Ja I i ira built a vessel, :i -,■■ 1D0Ut 

fifty tone bnrd ■ , , |(lain Vin 

cent commanded it, When Hoi 

quarters of the Pacific, the vessel was run on Hi.- Sacran 
river. Ho wa al o concerned in building the first saw-mill up 
the Blackburn ' lulch. 

I!i ''■■■'' ■ eon idore I b man of i n( rpi i e and iniproven 
and wo Mini him from hie Btart towards the Pacific to have 
boon a man of note, first as one of the leaders in the train 
with which he journeye I; again a com man lor and soldier in 
the first war towards the generation of a Pacific Government 
then, as a jurist, bis In I irj is recorded in tin- archives ol the 
countrj , final! V ;i-. an agriculturist, iiis murk was mad.- ami is 
<>ii record in the proceedings of tin- Crystal Palace World's 
Fair, New York, which was also probably the firsl visible 
knowledge demonstrating to tin- East tin- capabilities of ( !ali- 
fornifl tu raise hor own food. 


L846, Mr. A, A, Secox appears to have commenced Pro- 
testani public worship in Santa Cruz. He was an authorized 
Christian minister in the Methodist Episcopal church. Wor- 
ship was first held at bho house of John J>. Green, in August, 
1847, and after that in the house of J. G. T. Dunleavv 

Mi' rXocox thinks he preached the first Protestant sermon in 
California at the funeral of a Miss Hitchcock, who died at San 
Jo & aboul December, 1846. Feeble in body and leaning upon 
a staff bo made his way to the house of mourning, where he 
found a few of the relatives of the deceased, who had assembled 
to bid farewell to their departed sister who had fallen far, far 
from home. His remarks were bused upon the following words, 
•■ Remember how short my time is." 

The first Methodist class was formed the latter part of Feb- 
ruary, 1848, and the Rev. E. Antony elected preacher, and Mr. 
Ueeox appointed in charge of the work in, San Jose". 

The gold discovery, however, drew off the people very sud- 
denly u» the latter part of the year, and public worship was 
practically suspended for the time. 

1846. — Alfred Baldwin came in 1S4U. When a boy, living 
in Delaware county. New York, he got very much interested 
in this Pacific region through reading Lewis and Clark S jour- 

The desire to see this country that was said to have uo cold 
winters, grew upon him. Being in St. Louis in 1S45 when a 
party was starting overland to Oregon he joined it. 

reached their ■ ill of im; Mr 

Bald »-i San Francisco early in I s * HI. He very soon 

Janes H Watra ingh, pi 
"f war " Poraunoutl that th 

( resUtan.-.- to the fug of th.- United Sun.-, which had than just 
They were stationed al Ban 


While ni.- down from the d 

San J Indian- from the San Jo rl 1 

were making th raids and stealing all the hoi 

This was an old habil of tin- Indians, anil Erontie 

Ilk.- tfai ■ I could n 

The spirit of the new flag did not propose to submil to the 

ions. So, vorj promptly, Captain Watraough organ- 

b pai i_\ to go and l" ifa aftei I hi matters, It con ii Led 
ul Borne twenty-five or thirty men, 

They went t«> tin- Indians' linking place on the Stanislaus 
river, and there camped for the night, Byand l>y, in tin- dark 
m ,. >i band of horscfi caino rushing on them 
The Indians had Btolcn them from around the mission, oa 
; before remarked, and now as they though! thej were driving 
them into their own secure retreat, thev wen: drivinc them 
into the hands of our encamped force. 
The horses were secured and brought back, but the Indians 
■ themselves succeeded in getting away into the willow and 
thickets. Returning to San Jose, the party was ordered at 
, once tii go south in a vessel named Sterling to help take care 
of things there, (jetting a little In-low Monterey, they met the 
, Va/ndaMa coming up with orders that they should return t" 
Monterey, and there fit out an expedition and proceed in force 
i down the coast by land. Back to Monterey they came. Men 
I were sent to the Sacramento valley to get horses U> mount the 
i expedition. Mr. Baldwin, meanwhile, worked at his trade in 
j Monterey, getting the harnesse- ready for the hauling of the 


1S40. — In the month of November, 1846, the requisite 
number of horses having been obtained, were about to be 
driven across the Salinas plain toward Monterey. 

But just here, Pio Pico, who had heard of this coming band 
of horses, confronts them with a force of Californiaus. 

Before he gets the horses, however, the men in charge of them 
turn them aside to a rallcho in the hills, and on the next day 
go out to disperse the opposing California forces. 

The battle of the Salinas resulted, and it went very hard 
with our few men. It is said to have been the only battle 
during the struggle for American rule in California that did go 



hard with our forces. Th ptain Fostei 

officer in command, waa killed, and eleven of his men. But 
t}j. : bona were not captured. That night their faithful Indian 
guide, "Tom," broke through and cai ■■- to Monterey. 

The entire I immediately over to the Salinas, 

but no enemy vaa any tongei to be found. The horses were 
obtained, the expedition n ready, and moved down 

country, Of coarse in I December and onward theyencoun- 
i i i the rainy aeason and the storms iti the St [nez moun- 
were terrible; but they got through at last, and accom 
pliahed the ohjecl of tbeir equipment 

1846. — Elihu Anthony came to California in 1846, from 
Indiana. Ho itopped first in San Jose*, bul moved with his 
family to Santa Cruz in January, lstv 

M, A, Mr. in came to California around the Horn, in 1846, 
arriving in San Franri m. Augusl 1 I. He was a New 
England man. handy at any work, and before ?bng Isaac Gra- 
ham found him ami engaged him to come to Santa ( !ruz, and 
help him repair his saw-mill on theZyante creek. He came 
down ami began to work there in February, IS47. 


1846. — Hon, Flam Brown, who resides at. Lafayette, Contra 
I losta county, was prominent and active in aiding to establish 
i he rule of the Americans, He was a member of the conven- 
tion that formed the Constitution at Monterey. 

Mr. Brown participated in the first two sessions of the Legis- 
lature. What ho lacked in ability ami knowledge, he in a 
great measure made up in industry anil economy. 

Mr. Brown tells us: "I was eighty-three years old the 10th 
day of last June. I labor under the same embarrassment that 
the hunter did who could not shoot a duck; for when he took 
aim on one, another would put its head in the way. I find 
much less difficulty in collecting than in selecting incidents. 
My own and Mr. Nathaniel Jones' familieswere the first Ameri- 
cans that settled within the present bounds of this, Contra 
Costa county. There were no white families nearer than San 
Jose Mission. I settled on my present farm in 1848, and 1 
expect to remain on it the balance of my time on earth." 

Mr. Brow r n disclaims any praise over the tens of thousands 
of others who have equally participated and aided in the great 
work of reclaiming the vast waste of wilderness, that seventy- 
six year's ago was almost entirely occupied by the native 
Indians and wild beasts, but now covered over with organized 
States, counties, cities, towns and farms, with all the comforts 
and conveniences of art and science that civilization confers. 
Being an eye-witness in the front line of a long march, the 
picture is plain. The work is large to those who have not seen 
the beginning and end of the whole extraordinary advance of 
settlement and civilization in America from the year 1804 to 

Tli> MM of th.- men who were at the head of affairs 

in that stirring transition period between the two Hags, 
the Mexican and that of the United states, and the introduc 
tionof California as a State of the # American Union. This 
brings us to what is known as the Bear Flag War 


Mr. Anthony's foundry made the first east-iron plows over 
rnii-.imrtnl in California. Patterns were obtained from the 
East in IMS, and the castings made and attached to the proper 
wood-work. Previous bo this they had been imported and sold 
at high figures. The modern plow was at this time supplant- 
ing the old Mexican affair, illustrated and described elsewhere, 


At this same foundry was made, in the spring of L848, the 
first picks for mining purposes. As soon as the report of gold 
discovery was known in Santa Cruz, Anthony went to manu- 
facturing picks for miners 1 use. He made seven and a half 
dozen. They werelight and weighed only about three pounds 

Thomas Fallon, now of San Jose*, took them with his family 
in an ox-team across the mountains to the Sutter mines, or 
mill, to dispose of them. He sold nearly all of them at three 
ounces of gold each ; but the last of the lot brought only two 
ounces each, as by this time other parties had packed in a lot 
from Oregon. 


In 184b', the American settlers, many of whom had married 
Spanish ladies, learned that it was the intention of General 
Castro, then Governor of California, to take measures for the 
expulsion of the foreign element, and more especially of the 
Americans. Lieutenant John C. Fremont, of the United States 
Topographical engineers, was then camped at the north end of 
the Buttes, being on his way to Oregon. The settlers seDt a 
j deputation to him, asking him to remain and give them the 
j protection of his presence. He was afraid of a court-martial; 
! but they argued with him that if he would take back to Wash- 
ington his broken Lieutenant's commission in one hand and 
California in the other, he would be the greatest man in the 
nation. The bait was a tempting one. Fremont hesitated; 
but they kept alluring him nearer to the scene of action. On 
the 9th of June, 1846, there were some thirteen settlers in his 
camp at the mouth of Feather river, when William Knight, 
who had arrived in the country from Missouri in 1841, and had 
married a Spanish lady, came and informed them that Lieu- 
tenant Arci had passed his place — now Knight's Landing — that 
morning, going south, with a band of horses, to be used against 
the Americans in California. 



Tl " '■ company with Ezekid UerriU 

n»M ■"" u captain, and gave 

They overtook him on tb . , |im 

and hi boi The Rubicon was now passed WM 

nothing to do but to go ahead. When they got back t 
raonfc'scarop bhi v found othei tl . -,l ,, N ,..„, 

""" '' wa determined to capture Sonoma, the bead-quartera 

" f Ooneal It G. Vallejo, the military i imandei ol 

California The; gathered atrcngi 

and when they got to John Grigsb/a ,.. .,. .„ Japa valley, 
thoy numbered thirty three men. Here the company was i 
ganlzed and addret ed by Dr. Robert Semple, afterwards I 
«U-nt of il. '■ Constitutional Convention. We give the account 
of the capture in General Vallejo's own words, at bhi I !i nfa d 
niftl exorcises hold at Santa Rosa, July i I87& 


"I have now to say something of theepocb which in; 

rated a new era for this country . \ littli beforodawn on Juw 
IK 1884, a party of huntersand trappers, with some forei<Ti 
Bottlers, under command of i 'aptain Morritt, I factor Semplc, and 

Williitm B. [de, Burroundod my re idenccal Son a,and witl t 

Bring a shot, made prisoners of myself, then commander of the 
aorthern frontier, of Lieutenants 'ol.mel Virtur Prmlun. (.'ap- 
tain Salvador Vallejo, and Jacob P. Leese. I should here 
stair that down to October, 1845, I lia<I maintained atmy own 
expanse a respectable garrison at Sonoma, which often in 
union with the settlers, did good service in campaigns against 
the [ndians ; but at last, tired of spending money which the 
Mexican Government never refunded, I disbanded the force, 
and most of the soldiers who had constituted it left Sonoma. 
Thus in June, IS4C, the plaza was entirely unprotected, 
although tin-re were ten pieces of artillery, with other arms 
and munitions of war. The parties who unfurled the Bear 
Flag were well aware that Sonoma was without defense, and 
lost mi time in taking advantage of this fact, and carrying out 
their plans. 

"Years before, 1 had urgently represented to the Government 
of Mexico the necessity of stationing a sufficient force on the 
frontier, else Sonoma would lie lost, which would lie equivalent 
to leaving the rest of the country an easy prey to the invader. 
What think you, my friends, were the instructions sent me in 
reply to inv repeated demands for means to fortify the country? 
These instructions were that I should at once force the emi- 
grants to recross the Sierra Nevada, and depart from the 
territory of the Republic, To say nothing of the inhumanity 
of these orders, their execution was physically impossible — first, 
because the immigrants came in autumn, when snow 
covered the Sierras so quickly as to make a return impracti- 
cable. Under the circumstances, not only I, but Command- 

ante General Castro, the immigrants with 

y. that they might remain temporarily in the 
country. We always made a Lhority. but well 

rincod all the til , ,.-„,„ 

which was coming upon us With the frankn | 

can assure you thai I oevot i Kl ,| , 

to eamplamof the ,„i :tt the hands ol 

either nnthoriths or citizens. They i 

ramento, and kepi us ii 
until the authority ..f the CJnil 1 States i ■ ■ on 1. 

and the honorable and humane < !omn . M it. d 

us to our hearths/' 


On th. eizui of their prisoners the revolu si onco 

Bay mi San Pkancisco IN 1846. 

took steps to appoint a captain, who was found in the pi 1 on 
of John 1 ! rig.- by, for Ezekiel Merritt wished not to retain the 
permanent command. A meeting was then called atthe bar- 
racks, situated at the north-east corner of the plaza, under the 
presidency of WilliamB. Lie, I >r. Hubert Semple being Becretary. 
At this conference Semple urged the independence of the 
country, stating that having once commenced they must pro- 
ceed, for to turnback was certain death. Before the dissolution 
of the convention, however, rumors were rife that secret emis- 
saries were being dispatched to the Mexican rancheros, to 
inform them of the recent occurrences, therefore to prevent 
any attempt at a rescue, it was deemed best to transfer their 
prisoners to Sutter's Fort, where the danger of such would be 


Before transferring their prisoners, however, a treaty, or 
agreement was entered into between the captives and captors, 
which will appear in the annexed documents kindly furnished, 
to us by General Vallejo, and which have never before been 



, to the public. The But ■ m BngUsb, signed by the 
rotation and reads:- 

Wo the andetwgned, having n wived to establish agovern 
« prindpalsin. 
ool fellow-citizens, and having taken up anna to support .«, we 
have taken three Mexican offioera as prisoners; General M G. 
V^M... Lieul Col Victoi Pradon, and Captain D. Salvador 
Vallejo, having formed and published to the world nor. 
plan of government, 'leal it our duty to say that it. is not our 
ijitentiontotakeor injur- any person who is not found in 

oppoaiti the cause, nor wiU-wa take or destroy the prop- 

orty of private individuals Eurther Hum is uecessary lor our 

immediate support. 

" EZEEIEL .\]i;ki;iti', WiluaM FALLON, 

" R. Skmi'I.i;, Sami EL Ivii.sev." 

Th, aeralwaacantioualyarousedandthe schemedivulj 

tonmi but with a self-sacri6ce which cannot be too hi K hly 
eo^ended, answered that he should go voluntarily with his 
„ UiU ,l-. that be anticipated , apeedy and satisfactory settlement 
: f the whole matter, advised Padilla to return ... his rancho 
and disperse his band,.and positively refused to permit anj 
oceto the guards he was convinced that auch would 

lead to disastrous coast- .ic-s and pn.haUy invnlvr th, 

ranc heros and their families in run,, without accomplishing 

any good result. 

Having traveled about two-thirds of the way From Sutters 
Forfcl Captain Memt and Kit Oarson rode on ahead with the 
news of the capture o! Sonoma, desiring that arrangements be 
made For the reception oF the prisoners. They entered the fort 
early in the morning of June lflbh. 

The second is in the Spanish language and reads as follows :- 

"Const pr. la presto, qc. habiendo sido sorprendido pr. una 

numeroa a Euerza armada qe. me tom<5 prisionero y a los geFes 

y ofiiciales que. estaban de guarnicion en esta plaza dela qe. se 

,,,,; la eapresada fuerza, habiendola encontrado eabsolu- 

;. iIlll( . mde fensa, banto yo, como los S. S. Official,, qe 
suacribero comprometemos .nue atra palabra de honor, de qe. 
Mto ndo bajolasgarantias de prisionero da toma- 

,,. , las -urns ni a Favor ni contra repetida fuerza armada de 

quieI1 hemes recibiro la intimaoion del mom to. y un escnto 
Euinado qe. garantiza nuestras vidas, familias dtf intereses, y 
!os de toto ,-l vecindario de esta juris,!,, mientras no hagamos 
oposicion. Sonoma, Junio, 14 de 1840. 

" M. G. Vallejo. 
" Salvador Vallejo. 
" Vcr. Pbudon." 


But to proceed vifli our narrative of the removal of the 
, ri ,uval, his brother and Prudon to Sutters Fort. A guard 
consisting of William B. Ide, as captein, Captain Gngsby, 
Captain Merritt. Kit Carson, William Hargrave, and five others 
left Sonoma For Sutters Fort, with their prisoners upon horses 
actually supplied by General Vallejo himself. We are told 
that on the first night after leaving Sonoma with their pris- 
oners the revolutionist., with singular inconsistency, encamped 
and went to sleep without setting sentinel or guard; that 
during the night they were surrounded by a party under the 
command of Juan de Padilla, who crept up stealthily and 
awoke one of the prisoners, telling him that there was with 
him close at hand a strong and well-armed force of rancheros, 
who if need be. could surprise and slay the Americans before 
there was time for them to fly to arms, but that he, Padilla 
before living such instructions waited the orders of General 
Vallejo? whose rank entitled him to the command of any such 


On the seizure of the citadel of Sonoma, the Independents 
found noatingfrom the flag-staff-head the Hag of Mexico, afact 
which had escaped notice during the bustle of the morning. 1 1 
was at once lowered, and they -set to work to devise a banner 
which they should claim as their own. They were as one on 
the subject of there being astaronthe groundwork, but they 
taxed their ingeunity to have some other device, for the " lone 
star" had been already appropriated by Texas. 

So many accounts of the manufacture of this insignia have 
been published that we give the reader those quoted by the 
writer in The Pioneer: — 

■' A piece of cotton cloth," says Mr. Lancey, " was obtained, 

and a man by the name of Todd proceeded to paint from a 

pot of red paint a star in the corner. Before it was finished 

■ Henry L. Ford, one of the party, proposed to paint on the 

! center, facing the star, a grizzly bear. This was unanimously 

I agreed to, and the grizzly bear was painted accordingly. 

I When it was done the flag was taken to the flag-start; and 

hoisted amid the hurrahs of the little party, who swore to 

defend it with their lives." 

Of this matter Lieutenant Revere says: "A flag was also 
hoisted bearing a grizzly bear rampant, with one stripe below, 
and the words, ' Republic of California; above the bear, and a 
single star in the union." This is the evidence of the officer 
who hauled down the Bear flag and replaced it with the stars 
and stripes on July 9, 1846. 

The Wekern Shore Gazette,- has the following version: "On 
the 14th of June, 1846, this little handful of men proclaimed 
California a free and independent republic, and on that day 
hoisted their flag, known as the ■ Bear flag;' this consisted of 
a strip of worn-out cotten domestic, furnished by Mrs. Kelley, 
bordered with red flannel, furnished by Mrs. John Sears, who 
had fled from some distant part to Sonoma for safety upon 
hearin- that war had been thus commenced. In the center of 




the Hag w i« a if a bear, en /xuwinJ, pa 

with Venetian red, and id whs pahv- 

I'ni, r the bew w i the words, Repub- 

lic of California pal on iriUi common writing ink. This flag 
alifbrnia Pioneer Association, and mmj 
d al their roonu in Ban BYancbco. It was I and 

ited by ff. L Todd." 
The Sonoma D under the caption, A Trm- HI 

ary party rem 

were three jroung men Todd, Bonjamin Ducll, ami Tin 

i», i ■.-. , . ,, i i, ;i, men, the matt* r of a Bag came op. They 

had no authority to i American flag, and they deter- 

mined i" make one, Their general idea was to imitate, with 

mil following i ill their national en ign Mrs W. B. 

Elliott hod been brought to the town of Sonoma '■> her hus- 
band from hie ranch on M.-nl. W. i creefa toi safety The old 
Elliott cabin maybe Been to thia dayon Mark West creek, 
about a milo above the Springs From Mra Elliott, Benjamin 
Duoll gol ii pioce of new red flannel, some white domestic, 
needles, and thread. A piece <f blue drilling wee obtained 

So from this material, without consultation with any 
one else, these three young men made the Bear flag. Cowie 
had been a saddler. Dwell hail also served a short lime at the 
some trade. To form thu Hay, Ducll and < 'owie sewed together 
alternate Btrips of red, white, and blue. Todd drew in the 
upper COiner B star and painted cin the lower a rude picture ot 
a grizzly hear, whieh was not standing as lias been sometimes 
represented, but was drawn with head down. The bear was 
afterwards adopted as the design of the great seal of the State 
of California. On the original flag it was so rudely executed 
that two of those who saw it raised have told us that it looked 
more like a hog than a hear. Be that as it may, its meaning 
was plain—that the revolutionary party would, if necessary, 
tight their way through at all hazards. In the language of 
our informant, it meant that there was no back-out; they 
intended to light it out. There were no halyards on the flag- 
stall', whieh stood in front of the barracks. It was again 
reared, and the Bag, whieh was soon to be replaced by that of 
the Republic, for the first time floated on the breeze." 

cde's record of the flag. 

William Winter. Secretary of the Association of Territorial 
Pioneers of California, ami Mr. Lanccv. questioned the correct- 
ness of these dates, and entered into correspondence with al! 
the men known to be alive, who were of that party, and 
others who were likely to throw any light on the subject 
Among many answers received, we quote the following portion 
of a letter from James 0. Bleak: — 

kpril, 1878 

• T„ William W i 

. ' — 

1m w: Sib Tour communication <if the 3d Instant is 
placed in my hand- by the wi.l- i James 

M Ide, Son of William B :t> 1 have at present in my charge 
i" hi- papeni En reply 1 1 your question asking for ' the 
correct date' of raising the' Bear flag/ at Sonoma, in 1846, 1 
will quote from the writing of William B. 1 

'ThesaiilBearthiL,' waa made of plan itton cloth,and 

ornamented with the red flann he back of one 

of the men, and christened by tit C H ipublic,'in red 

paint letters on both sides; it waa uadard 

where had floated on the ore res the Mexican flag aforetime; 
it was the l Mh "f June, '46. Our whole numb intj 

four, all told. The mechanism of the flag was performed by 
William L. Todd, of Illinois, The grizzly bear was chosen as 
on emblem of strength and unyielding re ii itanoe ' 

I UK's remarkable speech. 

The garrison being now in possession, it was necessary to 
eleel officers; therefore, Henry L. Ford was elected First Lieu 
tenant; Granville P. Swift, First Serg.-ant ; and Namind (.libsmi, 
Secuiid Sergeant S.-ntrii'S wei e posted, and B 3J tern of mili- 

tary routine inaugurated. In the forenoon, while on parade, 
Lieutenant Ford addressed the company in these words: — 

"My countrymen! We have taken upon ourselves a very 
responsible duty. We have entered into a war with the Mexi- 
can nation. We are bound to defend each other or be Bhotl 
There's no half-way place about it. To defend ourselves, we 
must have discipline. Each of you has had a voice in choosing 
your officers. Now they are chosen, they must be ob. \ ed!" 

To which the entire band responded that the authority of 
the officers should be supported. For point and brevity this is 
almost equal to the speech put in the mouths of some of his 
military heroes by Tacitus, the great Roman historian. 


The words of William B. Ide throw further light upon the 
machinery of the civil-military force: " The men were divided 
into two companies of ten men each. The First Artillery were 
busily engaged in putting the cannons in order, which were 
charged doubly with grape and canister. The First Rifle Com- 
pany were busied in cleaning, repairing and loading the small 
arms. The commander, after setting a guard and posting a 
sentinel on one of the highest buildings to wateh the approach 
of any persons who might feel a curiosity to inspect our opera- 
tions, directed his leisure to the establishment of some system 
of finance, whereby all the defenders' families might be brought 
within the lines of our garrison and supported. Ten thousand 



ted i PP«« Wlnaky™ 

| werecUedto- 

,..,,„, and ■ *»*■ f° u y ' -M-'""' ' - ° " '•' "" 

mandereof thegarrison 

Will s Green says: "W. I W I by « 

write », that Captain John Grigsby was ol n to tl » 

;;,,,,,.,.., u,= ™. .-« ^* M l B, q ' " 

Bto -n but both of then, went with the prisoners to Suiters 
L We have talked with both [de and Semple about the 
Lar Flag war.and we are certain that Ide was not thejnihtary 

to, but that it was in a civil capacity that he .ssued 

„, | l lion above given. Ford, although nommally a 

,;,,„.. ethereal ,ary leader of the Bear Flag party. 

„,.,,.„, ierTOd fo ur years as Sergeant in the U.S. Dragoons, 

,,„, [ M 1 1 the drill and discipline better than those more 

, , , „, ,,,.„., „„. p0 , iB y to be pursue,!. Ide and Semple were 

the leaders in that." _ , 

V asenger was dispatched to San Francsco to inform 

0apWn Montgomery, of the United States sUp Ports tk, 

of the action taken by then,, he further stating that .t was the 

i nti I the insurgents never to lay down their arms until 

ft, independence of their adopted country had been estab- 



Wom ian.wero loudest in their denuncabon of the pne- 
„ ; and, unhappily, the,r counsels pre- 

8 nwerethenledoutstnpped 

, a tree with a lariat, whUe, for at, the 

victims, the while, praying to be shot. The then 

c„, edtl ketones at them, one of wh,eh broke the 

jaw of Fowler. Thefiend.Th, angered Jack, then advancmg, 

; hrasfc ft e endofhisriata a rawhide rope) through the mouth, 

.,, incision in the throat, and then made a tie by whvd, the 

jawwasdraggedout Theynextpr led to kdl them slowly 

with their knives. Oowie, who had tainted, had the flesh 
dipped from hU arms and shoulders, and pieces of flesh were 

,.„ tl V their bodies and crammed into then- mouths, they 

,,.,„„. anaU y disemboweled. Their mutilated remains were 
afterwards found and buried where they fell, upon the farm 

owned by George Moore, two miles north of Santa Rosa 

No stone marks the grave of these pioneers, one of whom took 

nspicuous a part in the event which gave to the CJmon the 

oreat State of California. 

" Three-fingered Jack was killed by Captain Harry Love s Ran- 
,„rs July 27, 1853, at l'inola Pass, near the Merced river, With 
the bandit Joaquin Murietta; while llarnon Carrillo met ins 
death at the hands of the Vigilantes, between Los Angeles and 
San Diego, May 21, 1804. 

Lieutenant Ford, finding that the magazine was short of 
powder, sent two men, named Cowie and Fowler, to the Soto- 
yome ranch* owned by H. D. Fitch, for a bag of rifle powder. 
Two miles from Santa Rosa, they were attacked and slaughtered 
by a party of Californians. Two others were dispatched on 
special duty; they, too, were captured, but were treated better. 
Receiving no intelligence from either of the parties, foul play 
was suspected; therefore, on the morning of the 20th of June, 
Sergeant Gibson was ordered, with four men, to proceed to the 
Sotovome rancho, learn, if possible, the whereabouts of the 
missing men, and procure the powder. They went as directed, 
secured the ammunition, but got no news of the nnssmg men. 
As they were passing Santa Rosa, on their return, they were 
attacked at daylight by a few Californians, and turning upon 
their assailants, captured two of them, Bias Angelina and Bar- 
uadino Garcia, alias Three-fingered Jack, and took them to 
Sonoma. They told of the taking and slaying of Cowie and 

Fowler. . . 

The story of their death is a sad one. After Cowie and 
Fowler had been seized by the Californians, they encamped for 
the night and the following morning determined in council 
what should be the fate of their captives. A swarthy New 
Mexican named Mesa Juan Pedilla, and Three-fingered Jack, 


At Sonoma Captain William B. Lie, with the consent of the 
garrison, issued the following:— 

«A proclamation to all persons and citizens of tl^ Distort 
of Soruma, requesting them to remain at peace, and fol- 
- The commander-in-chief of the troops assembled at the 
fortress of Sonoma, gives his inviolable pledge to all persons in 
California, not found under arms, that they shall not be dis- 
turbed in their persons, their property, or social relations, one 
with another, by men under his command. 

«Hc also solemnly declares his object to be: first, to defend 
himself and companions in arms, who were invited to bis 
country by a promise of lands on which to settle themselves 
and families; who were also promised a republican govern- 
ment" when, having arrived in California, they were denied 
the privilege of buying or renting lands of their friends; who 
instead of being allowed to participate in, or being protected 
by a republican government, were oppressed by a military 
despotism; who were even threatened by proclamation, by the 
chief officers of the aforesaid despotism, with extermination, if 
they should not depart out of the country, leaving all their 
properly, arms, and beasta of burden; and thus deprived of 
their means of flight or defense, were to be driven through 
i deserts inhabited by hostile Indians, to certain destruction. 



■ i-throw | 
property ->f the 
which baa ruined an i 

.. . 

we a . nd. 

" I ; 

to m\ lie all 


and i ii to my camp al 

without di lay, tod p irj 

rnmenl whii ire to all civil 

religion liberty literature ; 

which ' ■■ leavi un 

and inaiiiit'artui | 

"1 fin i in i doclari that 1 rely upon the rectitude <>f our 
intention the favoi ol to avi a, and the bi win. 

un- bound and d ocial I with m< b} the principles of self- 
preservation, U tho lovo of nuri, and Lh il tyranny, 
for my hopes of i 

■■ 1 furthermore declare that] believi thai b era nt to 

be prosperous and happj tnu I originate with the people who 
are friendly to its existence; thai thi citu i c iaiu 

tho officers ita servants, its glorj il reward. 

" Wll.l.l AM B. I" 

" Headquarters, Sonoma, June is, 1840." 


Captain William B. [de was born irj Ohio; came overland 
reaching Sutter's Fort in October 1845. June 7. L847, Gov- 
ernor Mason appointed him land surveyor for the northern 
district <>f California, and the same month he was appointed Jus- 
tice nf tin- lVm-f at. Cache Creek. At. an early day he got a 
grant of land which was called the Rancho Barranca Colorado, 
just below Red creek i" Colusa county, as it was then organized. 
In L85] he waseleeUdlVuinty Treasurer, with an j ■ ■ i ut roll 
of three hundred and seventy-three thousand two hundred and 
six dollars. Moved with the countyseat to MonroeviUe, al the 
mouth of Stony creek, September :>, L851 ; was elected County 
Judge of Colusa county, and practiced law, having a license. 
Judge I'll- died of small-pox at MonroeviUe ou Saturday, 
December L8, 1852, aged fifty years. 


Ide was the presiding Judge and Deputy Clerk, and Huls 
was Associate Justice and Deputy Sheriff Tin; prisoner was 
brought into court by Hul>, and the indictment read to him 
by tde as Clerk. He was on trial for horse stealing; the pen- 
alty at that time was death. The Judge mounted the bench 
aud informed the prisoner of his rights, including that of hav- 

H ■ 

• ii, m Bel 


and he di iould not 


•■ I to thi ho was 

led by the 
1 . ■ rhere being no Disti 

was ex peel i look ou! t'..i 

the interest of the pe tpl< With I, tlio 

1 I I II I ! 

<»f law "ii i ithor i le an L tfaei 

own ruling an I then as ■ !lerk 

When tho testimony was all in, tde o 
■ al "il' first 'Ii ■ icution.and then 

win ling up with n plea fo ■ mercj Then he got on the b nch 
n, and instructed the jury calmly and impartially 

law of the case The jury retired and in a few < ml 1 

brought in a verdict oi " guilty." 

When the time for sentence came, the Jn Ige 01 lered the 

prisoner to stand up, and be addressed him in sul 

follows: " Yun have had a fair and impartial trial by q jury of 

your peers. Von have been ably defended by coun iel ■ inl d 

by this Court The jury have found you guilt} ol jrand 
larceny, the penalty of which, under the benign laws of this 
State, is death. It is therefore the judgment of this Court 
1 L;; 1 you be taken by the Sheriff to some convenient pi ic 

the — day of . and then and thori hanged by the n 

until you are dead, dead, dead, and may the Lord bavi mere 
on your soul." 

Turning to Associate Huls he ordered the Sheriff to take 

charge of the prisoner. A day or so before that set for the 

cecution Huls went over after his prisoner, but found that lit: 

bad been pardoned out by the Governor, without the officers of 

Colusa county knowing anything about it. 


The only real right of the war occurred on the 25th of June, 
between a body of about eighty Californians and some twenty 
men under command of Lieutenant Ford. These few men 
were put to flight, and continued their march across the bay. 
Fremont arrived at Sonoma two days after the fight, >ti!l hesi- 
tating, He wan' ■>! so we are told by Semple and Ide, (who 
informed \\ ill S. Green of Colusa,] to occupy n where he 

might reap the benefit of a victory and not suffer from defeat. 

After the return of the Californians across the bay, the Bear 


Viae p. rt y,,.-l Fremont to capture the *p JW- 

b to Bear Flag party M rf A «* 


0n Saturday, July 11, 18*6, came the astound,^ newBftom 
M erey, that. Coo. lore Sloat had arrived tore » the 

,: rLte. frigate 8 

S, , flag, an.1 had Uk.-n, -- of the country ,„ conse- 

! ! war, which had broken out between the United 

States ami Mexico. It W ae understood that Commodore Sbat 
,.,, ; Captain F, to go with all posuble d>spatch to 

Th „ ,:,„,„,, Stoto Sag was raised in Monterey on July ,tb. 
If the messenger started immediately, he was four Jays on hrs 
W ay to Fremont's camp. But Fremont appears to have been 
J, days on the way to Monterey, reaching there on Sunday 
Ju , 19lh . B foe question is asked, why this slowness when 
,,„;,, would be so certainly looked for. the reply must be that 
no answer is apparent. 


■■Concerning the capture of Monterey," says Will S. Green, 
.. w , we re fortunate enough to hear the recital by Commodor 
S,oat himself. War was anticipated between the United 
States and Mexico long before it occurred, and Commo or 
Joncs , then in command on this coast, was mstrueted to ake 
Monterey, the capital of California, as soon as he heard host h- 
Z had commenced. As we have seen, he acted too humedly, 
an ,, on the instance of the American Minister, he was removed. 
Sloat who succeeded, had the same instructions, and was lying 
I Marian with a frigate and a sloop-of-war, anxtously 
Itching the signs of the times. It was known tha there 
waa „ arrangement with England to take possesion of C - 
fomia, and hold it for Mexico in case of war Admiral 
S 1 ur, of the British navy, with the W -battie ship 
S^W, was also at Mazatlan waiting orders. One day 
s vu ,our & dispatches, and Sloat got none. Sloat set a wateh 
S Almiral's movements and found him in close consulta- 
ion with the leading Mexicans, who avoided the American 
commander. He guessed that ^^^^^^ 
wh en Seymour went on board his vessel and began to mahe 
X fol departure, he felt certain of the fact; and the wlnte 

" ■ ». i«»l»IIfat«T of M^terey County," by Elliott^ Moore. 

• Hots lolly B»«n in tl> elocal ulblorj ul 

sails of the. ,ad not disappeared - U» ««- 

i wew ui r- •" M ■ 

Every pebble inch of c -a* was spread and a U 

I;:,...-.!., On arriving at Monterey ademandw* 


sni-i idi ,,,.,,,, .,- >,, .ue p r::: 

oi Monterey, the C lore had his two small vessels got in 

read, for action. The huge EngUshman sailed up be^ee, 

the two American v Is and dropped anchor Ska sentan 

fficer on hoard with his c pll ^"dltoa 

latter came in person to see the Commodore He told Sloa 

Tl, kne, L he had received Jcial mfor one, 

the existence of war, and added that no officer m th, Br.M 
navy would have taken the responsibility he had done. E 
then asked Sioat in a sort of bantering way what he would 
have done if he had come into port and found t,,lr,, sh flag 
rtv inn « I would have had you sink these two httle ships for 
Z "was the Commodore's reply. It was thus owing to the 
prompt action and courage of Commodore Sloat that we 
became possessed of California. 


In the meantime Congress had (unknown to these parties) 
declared war against Mexico, and an expedition one thousand 
six hundred strong under General Stephen W. Kearny, was 
traversing the continent in the direction of the Pacific Simul- 
taneously withFremont's action in the north, Commodore Sloat 
seized upon Monterey, and his successor-Commodore Stock- 
ton-prepared at once for the reduction of the then pnnc.pal 

city of Los Angeles. 

With this end in view, he organized a batta.ion ot mounted 
riflemen, of which Fremont was appointed Major, and Gules- 
pie Captain. This force was embarked on the sloop-of-war 
Ijane, and dispatched to San Diego with orders to .co-op.-, to 
with the Commodore in his proposed movement onfcftuW 
cU Los Angeles. On August 1st, Stockton satled ,n the C<M- 
gress, and on the 6th arrived at San Pedro, having taken pos- 
session of Santa Barbara on his way. He now learned 1 
the enemyunderGeneralsCastroand Andres Pico were strongly 
posted near Los Angeles with a force estimated at fl teen hun 
d d men. He iearned further that Major Fremont had landed 
a San Die-, but was unab!e to procure horses, and therefore 
11 not Join him. In the absence of Fremont's baUahon 
Stockton was whoUy destitute of cavalry ^ £ 
the importance of celerity of movement he *»***££ 
me n. The force consisted only of from three hum had to ton 
hundred marines, wholly ignorant of military driU a dth- 
only artillery-sis small guns, rudely mounted and dragged 

by hand. 






A few (L 

hill- ' 

with an exag,' 

irch at in' 
twenty or thirty p«CM apart, to 

im obeervntfton. In tint nana 

01) their arrival 
thoy were marched up to b of an in mortar, 

■ ■ 
up were plainly discernible 

them with a ntern and forhidding conn' 
which they disc 
ion They bore a letter Erom 
u truce n until a g< 

i ifl 

with conb mpl and difltniased 

aii'-r that only an immedial i di bandmonj of hi for© - and an 

uncondil i I urn odor, would shield Cs h i 

Alter omo Icirmi hingof the two forces ' astro surrendered 
and the oldiei were perrai b I to goat large on their p 
di' honor nol again to bear ai m - again I I tie I ai 

1 ' don \\ ol >■ ■■■.', i ued a proclamation declaj 

California a territory of the United States; and, an all resi I 
ance bad oca led, proceeded to organise a civil and military 

government, 1 all retaining the position of Comraandei in 

chief and Governor. 

Al.uut this time Stockton Brat learned that war bad been 
declared between tho United States an«l M*-xieo; and leaving 

i if i j f in.Ii'i command of Lieutenant A , If . t tillespie to gar- 

cieon Los Angeles, he proce led north, I i look after affairs 
in thai quarter. 'Thus the whole great territory of Upper 
California had been subjeofced to American rale without blood- 
shed <"■ - '•'" il" firing oj a gwn* 


The treaty of peace between the United States and Mexico 
was signed a1 Guadalupe Hidalgo, February 2, L848; ratifica- 
tions were exchanged a I Queivtaro, May 30th, following. 
Under this treaty the United States assumed the Mexican debt 
to a.merican subjects, and paid into the Mexican treasury 
$15,000,000 in money, receiving in exchange Texas, New 
Mexico, and Upper California, and the right of free navigation 
on the Colorado river and the Gulf of California. 


SI. <at proclaimed himself Governor of California, and acted 
as such until the 17th of August, 1846, when he was super- 
seded by Commodore B. F. Stockton, who commenced at once 
a vigorous campaign against the Mexicans under Flores, whom 
he defeated January 8 and 9, 1S47. Iu January, 1S47, Stock- 

r. bat thii of right Won*;. 
- A that 

He wa " Hay, and on 

intil he wa i by 

H Burnett, under th 


r in the -i 
In looking ! ■• ear, touching 

this country, from tl i main pur] 

led, as it di 
transpiring. It tap] igh now. that thoy wore 

>m Waahin 
Th<.- government of the United States bad kepi a careful 
h of whal 
Ever afb i the fan Clarke, who 

■ ni oul i'\ Pn i If al Jefferson, in l B0 ! oui Qoi ei am al 
had kept itself thoroughly informed of everything that con 
cei n> I < 'alifornia. 

Tin- hopes of England to acquire California were also well 
known, mid all her movements having thai and in view, were 
carefully observed. 

Mi ;i n while the * lovernment at V9*aahingl aued to 

seek all possible information concerning this country, then a 
remote and unexplored. Thomas O, Larkin, who came hen 
from Massachusetts in 1832, acems to have badafancj and a 
tact for gathering up facts and statistics. The b< Ep i 
communicated to the Government, 

By this means, as well as in other ways, they were made 
acquatnte I. uot only with the geography and natural resource 
of the country, but with its inhabitants, hot.h tin; native born 
and the foreign. 

The Donner Party. 

1846. — There are stories of human trial and suffering whose 
deep interest no amountof repetition can ren lex stale, and such 
a Btory is the record of tht-- ill-fated party of immigrants which 
furnished the actors in the terrible tragedy of Donner lake. 
Portions of the tale have been written by many hands. They 
have differed widely, and many have been plainly colored for 

The story of the Donner party, in its general features, is too 
well known on this coast to need repetition. Too many sun^i^I 
the harilslups of crossing the plains 1 1 allow the recollections of 
those days to die out. For years after the great rush of iinini- 
gration in '49 no story was told more frequently or was listened 
to with more eager interest than the misfortunes of that party. 

The Donner party proper was formed in Sangamon county, 
III., and was composed of ninety persons. Numerous additions 



tw*n two hundred and three hun- 

,. . in length. 1 
g^, .rithoatanynaaoeableincidenta.aavethe 

rpftrty begaaEighty*venpe, arvworsoi 

. minety- I i > of the Hastings 

:r instead of following the old trail. The remamderofthe 

tniB< andreachedCaUforniainsafety. Che 

*ayol Weber canyon ud w- -i,l to rejoin 

„, road on the Humboldt, making a saving of 

, |t „ , 1( . m a wretched condition, and the 

party from this time was one long series of disas- 

I , Their i am U-came exhausfced-they were force! to make 
toque* hall ;the bock of provisions ran low. Finally, in the 

SaltLaked rt, bl migrante saw plainly that they would 

, | reach the Pacto ast without assistance. Two of their 

ttumb6] V .,. M . di etched with letters to Captain Sutter implor- 
ing aid. 

\, the present site of Reno, the party conclude.] to rest. 
Threeor four days' time was lost. This was the fatal act. 
The storm-clouds were already brewing upon the mountains, 
only a few miles distant. The ascent was ominous. Thickand 
thicker grew the clouds, outstripping in threatening battalions 
fche n ow eager feet of the alarmed emigrants, until at Prosser 
creek three miles below Truckee, October 28, 1846, a month 
earlier than usual, the storm set in, and they found themselves 
in 8ix inches of newly-fallen snow. On the summit it was 
already from two to live feet deep. 

The party, in much confusion, finally reached Donner lake 
in disordered fragments. Frequent and desperate [attempts 
were made to cross the mountain tops, but at last, baffled and 
despairing, they returned to camp at the lake. The storm 
now descended in all its pitiless fury upon the ill-fated immi- 
grants Its dreadful import was well understood, as laden 
with omens of suffering and death. With slight interruptions, 
the storm continued for several days. The animals were liter- 
ally buried alive and frozen in the drifts. Meat was hastily 
prepared from their carcasses, and cabins rudely built. One 
cabin (Moses SchaHenberger's, now a resident of San Jose), 
erected November, 1S44, was already standing about a quarter 
of a mile below the lake. This the Breen family appropriated. 
Judge Breen, now of San Juan, gives his reminiscences of the 
Donner party in our history of San Benito county. The Mur- 
phys erected one three hundred yards from the lake, marked 
byalarge stone twelve feet high. The Graves family built theirs 
near Donner creek, farther down the stream, the three forming 
the apexes of a triangle, and distant 150 yards or more. 

The Donner Brothers, with their families, hastily constructed 
a brush shed in Alder Creek valley, six or seven miles from 

the lake. 

The Mr. Donner who had charge of one company, was an 

Illinois, sixty years of age a man of high respectability and 

ft bundantmeans His wife was a i m of education and 

refinement, and much younger than he. 

Of course these were soon utterly destitute of food, for they 
could not tell where the cattle were buried, and there was no 
hone of game on a desert so piled with snow thai nothing 

without wings could move The number of those who i 

,.,.i ri the very thresholdof theland whose 

winters are one long spring, was eighty, of whom thirty were 

females.and several, chUdren. Much of the time the tops ol the 

cabins were below the snow level. 


It was six weeks after the halt was made that a party of 
„,,,..„ including live women and two Indians who acted as 

ide£ ,,, ut on snow-shoes to cross the mountains, and give 
notice to the people of the California settlements of the condi- 
tion of their friends. At first the snow was so light and 
feathery that even in snow-shoes they sank nearly a foot at 
every step. On the second day they crossed the " divide," 
finding the snow at the summit twelve feet deep. Pushing 
forward with the courage of despair, they made from four to 

eight miles a day. 

°Within a week they got entirely out of provisions; and three 
of them, succumbing to cold, weariness, and starvation, had 
died. Then a heavy snow-storm came on, which compelled 
them to He still, buried between their blankets under the snow, 
for thirty-six hours. By the evening of the tenth day three 
more had died, and the living had been four days without food. 
The horrid alternative was aecepted-thcy took the flesh from 
the bones of their dead, remained in camp two days to dry it, 

and then pushed on. 

On New Years, the sixteenth day since leaving Truekce 
lake, they were toiling up a steep mountain. Their feet were 
frozen. Every step was marked with blood. On the second of 
January, their food again gave out. On the third, they had 
nothing to eat but the strings of their snow-shoes. On the 
fourth, the Indians eloped, justly suspicious that they might be 
sacrificed for food. On the fifth, they shot a deer, and that day 
one of their number died. Soon after three others died, and 
every death now eked out the existence of the survivors. On 
the seventeenth, all gave out, and concluded their wanderings 
useless, except one. He, -guided by two friendly Indians, 
dragged himself on till he reached Johnson's Ranch on Bear 
river, the first settlement on the western slope of the Sierras, 
when relief was sent back as soon as possible, and the remaining 
six survivors were brought in next day. It had been thirty- 
two days since they left Donner lake. No tongue can tell, no 
pen portray, the awful suffering, the terrible and appalling 
straits, as well as the noble deeds of heroism that characterized 
this march of death. The eternal mountains, whose granite 


mark the In irtv 

y.y pasta 
The rtorytbat th -.- 

valley to New B 


Hying in p 
a hundred dolL | al 

-Mr. i, er expedition. The i 
.,iit bill i 

'l h< in il -I the relief pari under ] k.,, 

reached Trucked lake on the Ten <>f 

the peopli In the dj mp were dead. For four ■■ 

the e who were still alii ,,,, bulloi l. hides. 

At D r 1 c imp I remain a The 

upplj "i I- i •. ith the twenty nine 

whom thej could i al ■ with thi tn, and I trted back with 

the remainder. Four of the children they carried on 
baol ■ 

Second of the rolii E partie . undei J F Reed, reached 
Truck oo take on the first of March. They immediately start d 
Im.i, with seventeen of the u Heron but,e L-.n \ uow torm 
overtaking thorn, they left all, except three of thi children, on 
the rood. The third party, under John Stark, went after 
those who were lefl on the way; found three >'f them dead, 
and (I"' rest mstaining life by I ■ ling on the H. sh of the dead, 

Tho last relief partj reached Donner's camp late in April, 
win n tlio snows had melted jo thai the eartli appeared in spots. 
The maui cabin waa empty, but some miles distant thej found 
the last Burvivoi of all lying on the cabin floor smoking his 
pipe. "He was ferocious in aspect, savage and repulsive in 
manner. BBs camp kettle was over the fire and in it. his meal 
of human flesh preparing. The skipped bones of his feliow- 
Bufleroi-s lay around him, II.- refused to return with the party, 
and "ul\ consented when he saw then was do escape." 

This person was Louis Keseborg, who has been execrated as 
a cannibal, and whose motive in remaining behind has been 
ascribed to plunder. Never until now has he made any 
attempt to refute these stories, He saj s: 

" For nearly two months ] was alone in that dismal 
* Five of iny companions hod died in my cabin, and their 
stark and ghastlj bodies lay there day and night, seemingly 
gazing at me with their glased and staring eyes. I was too 
w i ;!. to move them had 1 tried. I endure • ind deaths. 

To have one's suffering prolonged inch by inch; to be deserted, 
E irsoken, hopeless to set that loathsome food ever before my 
eyes was almost too much for human endun 

For two months he lived there entirely alone, boiling the 

nWi i companion*. 

iri'l him tl 
If he 
Uinly i-ai-i Uw penall 
1 have gone people h 

would not have succumb 

■ ■ D 

■nd overwhelmed me." 
Keseberg has lost several now Living in 

rty **■ Brightoi ty, with two idiotio 

chil< 1 1 

; i: \\l> wii'K. 

When the third reliel D inner Ink.'. , 

. | i re George Com 

the eoi . lie wife, whose d< vol u - 

husband caused her own death durin and fearful 

of waiting for the fourth relief ' leoi 1 1 

ad urged his wife to Bave her life and n ith her little 

ones with the third reli< but bi i Fu thing was n 

ding than her sad parting with her beloved littl om 

wound thi ir childish arms lovin round her •!■ and 

besought her with mingled tears and kiss to join them. But 

duty prove ill I ovei .'i! ; c I hi retraced the woai ) 

tance to die with him whom Bhe had p to love and 

honor to the end 

Mrs. Donner was the last to die. ETerl 

fully laid .»nt and wrapped in c sheet m fo I in hi ton 

Circumstances led to the suspicion that bhe ui rivoi I 
had killed Mrs Donner for her flesh and her money; and when 
"In- was threatened with hanging, and the rope tightened 
around his neck, he pro luced over fivi hun In I dollai ■ in gold, 
which, probably, he had appropriated from her store." 


< feorge fount was the pioneer settler of Napa county. He 
dreamed that a party of immigrants wen uom bound in the 

rs Novadas high up in the mountains, where they were 
suffering the most distressing privations from cold and want of 
food. The locality v. [ream had placed these unhappy 

mortals, he had never visited, yet so clear was his vi 
he described the sheet of watei urroundi ; by lofty peaks, 

-r tvered with snow, while on eVery hand towering pine 
leir heads far above the limit In liis 

sleep he saw the hungry human beings raven 
flesh from the bones of" their fellow creatures, slain to satisfy 
their craving appetites, in the midst of a gloomy ■ 

breamed his dream on three successive nights, after which 
he related it to others, among whom were a few who had 


„„„„„.„. ;:::: 

Bon of the *» "»»»»■ 

:,. r,*- rlak - ,m,h r 

oen .s guide* wen «...!, 
,,._. ,„„-,;.., u. reach the ill-feted Donner party. 

0! the eighty-seven persons who reached Donner lake only 
l „ lv „ ig ht escaped. 01 these twenty-six are known to be 
.,.. •„, this State and in Oregon. 

,,; be | description of the scene of the disaster was g.ven 
llV ,.;,„,„ Bryant, who accompanied General Kearney s expe- 
,,;,„„,„ m7 to bury the remains. He ^; "*-*£ 
,„,„cipa. cabins I saw two bodies entire, the excep ,on 

Ltheabd as had been out open and the entrads extracted. 

.,.,,,.,,,-1, bad been either wasted by famine or evaporated by 

exp •<, and they presented the appeal 

„„, ' mm ies. Strewn around the cabins were d.slocated and 

broken sknll< m m instances sawed asunder cave, for 
,,„. Darp0 se of extracting the brains), human skeletons, m 
short, in every variety of mutilation. A more revolting and 
appalling spectacle I never witnessed. The cabins weroburned, 
J,! ,„„„;« buried, and now there is nothing to , nark the place 
save the tall stumps, from ten to twenty feet in he.ght, 
surround some of the rocks on the lakes shore.' 

Doctor vUited Captain Sutter. The Captain always bought 

there must be mineral in the country, and re, stod Dr. 

Idstogo out into the .tains and find bun a gold muie; 

the Doctor, ■ d bin, by relating his exper.encam Mex- 
ico, and the uncertainty of mining operations, as far as In. 
aded. in Mexico, Brazil, and other parte of South 

A rics He advised Sutter new to think of lumng any 

thing to do with the mines; that the best - was the soil, 
W hich was inexhaustible. However, at Sutter's .oko.tat.on 
Dr .Sandels went up through his grant to Hock Farm, and 

the through the Butte mtains up the Sacramento valley, 

as far as the location of Ohio i. 

While passing over the black adobe land lying between the 
Butte mountains and Butte creek, which resembled the gold 

wash in Brazil, Dr. Sandels remarked:-" Judgmg E, i the 

Butte mountains, I believe that there is gold in try, 

bul I do not think there will ever bee gh found to pay for 

the working." Dr. Sandels was hurried, as the vessel upon 
which he was to tako passage was soon to sail, and he could 
not spare the time to pursue his search to any more deBn.teend, 

The Discovery of Gold. 

No history of a county in California would be complete 
without a record of the rush to this coast at the time of what 
is so aptly named the » gold fever." 

The finding of gold at Coloma by Marshall was not thecal 
discovery of the precious metal in the territory. But the tune 
a „a circumstances connected with it, together he exit- 
ing state of affairs, caused the rapid disseminata of the news 
pTople were ready and eager for some new excitement, and 
this proved to be the means of satisfying the desu-e. From all 
pal of California, the coast, the United States^ rn fact 
the world, poured in vast hordes of gold-seekers. The prec.ous 
metal had been found in many places. 


1S43 -In the summer of 1843, there came to this coast from 
England, a very learned gentleman named Dr. Sandels He 
w as a Swede by birth. Soon after his arrival on the coast, the 


1 84,4 -When General Bidwell was in charge of Hock Far,,,, 
in the month of March or April, 1844, a Mexican by the name 
of Pablo Gutteirez was with him, having immediate supems.on 
of the Indian vaqueros, taking care of the stock on the plams, 
"breaking" wild horses, and performing other duties common 
to a California rancho. This Mexican had some knowledge ol 
gold mining in Mexico, where he had lived, and after returnmg 
from the mountains on Bear river, at the time menfoned, he 
informed General Bidwell that there was gold up there. 

suttee's saw-mill. 

1847 -Captain Sutter always had an unconquerable desire 
for the possession of a saw-mill, by which he could h.mselt 
furnish the necessary material for the construction of more 
improved buildings than the facilities of the country could a 
that time afford. Around his fort, in 1847, was a person named 
James W. Marshall, who had a natural taste for mechamcal 
contrivances, and was able to construct, with the few crude 
tools and appliances at hand, almost any kind of a mach n 
ordinarily desired. It was to this man that Sutter rn rusted 
the erection of the long-contemplated and much-needed saw- 
mi H. The contract was written by Mr. John B.dwell, then 
Captain Sutter's secretary, and signed by the parties Marshall 
started out in November, 1847, equipped with tools and p- 
visions for his men. He reported the distance of the selected 
site to be thirty miles, but he occupied two weeks m reachmg 
his destination in Coloma. In the course of the w.nter a am 
and race were made, but, when the water was let on, the tad- 



Ml too narrow. To widen an I Marshall 

a! ->f water directly * , which bona 

body of mud and gw 

b I'M), of January, 1848, Marshall 

a ne, Be called five car| mill t<> 

-, tit. v tal 
old, the \ iaion did not inflame them. 
One lump weighed aboul una, It was malle- 

able, heavier than ail i 

Aboul l o'clock in th i. ■ Marshall exhibited his find to 

the cin le composing the mill company laborers Theii ni 
were James W — ^^— _ — __ 

..iL p. h. M 

Wiui me] Mi- A. 
Wimmoi J Bar- 
ger, fro Willi-, 
Sydney Willis, A 
Stephens, Jami 
I :i <>w n, K/kiah I 1 '. 
Pol onB, II. Big- 
ter, Israel Smith, 
William Johnson, 
Qeorgo ESvans, < '. 
Bennett and Wil- 
liam Scott, The 
conference resull 
ed in ;i rejection 
of the idea Lhal il 
whs gold. Mis 
Wimmer tested il 
li_\ boiling it in 
strong lye. Mar- 
shall afterwards tested it with nitric acid. It was gold, 
sura enough, and the discoverer found its like in all the Bur- 
rounding gulches wherever he dug for it. The secret could not 
be long kopt It was known at Yorba Buena three months 

after the disen\ cry. 


The treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, by which California 
was ceded to the United States, was concluded in Mexico. 
on February _. L848. It proves to have been on that very 
day, the second of February, 1848, that, here in California, 
Marshall rides in from Sutter's Mill, situated at what is now 
Ooloma, forty miles to Sutter's Fort, his horse in a foam and 
himself all bespattered with mud; and finding Captain Sutter 
alone, takes from his pocket a pouch from which he pours upon 
the table about an ounce of Yellow grains of metal, which he 


thought m to be gold. U did | and 

there w a great dea I aaral 

II writes: I myself fir-- ^tn Fran- 

cisco. I went by way of Sa I told General Valleja 

He I -id would 

flow ml tiers through his mill-race.'" 


Weoannotol of thedal great 

of tin negotiation of the treat} of p 
with Mexico, by which Cs uirod by the I n 

thinking, What if tii ivery had ■ 

What if the events of the war had postponed the 
few monthsl W bat if M idea bad ; 
the news I upon terms! What il d 

— _ litor, England, 

had also leai ai I 
thai there was a- 
bundance of gold 
here in < talifornia I 
Who ran nil when, 
iii thai case, there 
would have been 
peace, and upon 
what, terms, and 
with whal di po i 
i ion of tei ritor 


i .iii' 

In the l>ar room 
at Weber'a Hotel 

in San Jose, < 

day in February, 

18 I s -, a man co 

in, and to pay for 
something hehad purchased, offered some gold-dust laying that 
gold had been discovered at Sutter's Mill on American river, and 
all were going to work. The people were very incredulous and 
would not believe the story. An old Georgia miner said that 
what the man had was really gold, and requested him to investi- 
gate the matter. When he arrived at Sutter's Mill, he asked Sut- 
rding it, and the Captain assured him that it was a cer- 
tainty, and that a man could make five dollars a day. He 
carried the news to San Jose and the place was almost deserted, 
every one hastening to the mines. 

The people were snspici lua regarding the quality and amount 
of the gold. As the weeks passed, confidence was gained and 
the belief that there might possibly be precious minerals in 
other localities was strengthened. 

Prospectors gradually pushed out beyond the narrow limits 
of the first mining district, and thus commenced the opening 



up of the vast mining fields of California and the Pacific 


A Frenchman fishing in a prospect hole for frogs for his 
breakfast, at Mokelunme Hill in November, 184S, discovered a 
speck of gold on the side of the excavation, which he dug out 
with his pocket-knife and sold for $2,150. 

Three sailors who had deserted took out $10,000 in five days 
on Weber creek. Such strokes of good fortune turned all 
classes into miners, including the lawyers, doctors and preachers. 

The exports of gold-dust in exchange for produce and 
merchandise amounted to $500,000 by the 25th of September. 
The ruling price of gold-dust was $15 per ounce, though its 
intrinsic value was from $19 to $20. 


A meeting of citizens, presided over by T. M. Leavenworth 
and addressed by Samuel Brannan, passed resolutions in Sep- 
tember not to patronize merchants who refused to take gold- 
dust at $16 per ounce. A memorial was also sent from San 
Francisco to Congress in that month for a branch mint here. 
It stated, among other things, the opinion that by July 1, 1S49, 
$5,500,000 worth of dust at $16 per ounce would be taken out 
of the mines. The figures were millions too low. 


Real estate in San Francisco took a sudden rise. A lot on 
Montgomery street, near Washington, sold in July for $10,000, 
and was resold in November with a shanty on it for 827,000. 
Lots in Sacramento, or New Helvetia, also came up to fabulous 
prices that winter. By the month of October the rush from 
Oregon caused the Oregon city papers to stop publication. In 
December, the Kanakas and Sonorians came in swarms. A 
Honolulu letter, November 11th, said : — 

"Such another excitement as the news from California cre- 
ated here the world never saw, I think not less than five 
hundred persons will leave before January 1st, and if the news 
continues good, the whole foreign population except mission- 
aries will go." 

The news did continue good, and they came, some mission- 
aries included. Soon there came up from the mines complaints 
of outrage and lawlessness, mostly against Kanakas and other 
foreigners. How well they were founded, to what they led, 
and how they were suddenly and summarily silenced, is a story 
that covers a very interesting part of the history of California 
and the progress of civilization in America. 

On the 29th of May the Californian issued a slip stating 
that its further publication, for the present, would cease, because 
nearly all its patrons had gone to the mines. 


A month later there were but five persons — women and 

children— left in Yerba Buena. The first rush was for Sutter's 
Mill, since christened Coloma, or Culluma, after a tribe of 
Indiana who lived in that region. From there they scattered 
in all directions. A large stream of them went over to Weber 
creek, that empties into the American some ten or twelve miles 
below Coloma. Others went up or down the river. Some, 
more adventurous, crossed the ridge over to the north and 
middle forks of the American. 

By the close of June the discoveries had extended to all the 
forks of the American, Weber creek, Hangtown creek, the 
Cosumnes (known then as the Makosume), the Mokelumne, 
Tuolumne, the Yuba (from uvas, or yuvas — grape), called in 
1848 the "Yuba," or "Ajuba/ 5 and Feather river. On July 
15th the editor of the Californian returned and issued the first 
number of his paper after its suspension. It contained a 
description of the mines from personal observation. He said:— 

" The country from the Ajuba (Yuba) to the San Joaquin, a 
distance of about one hundred and twenty miles, and from 
the base toward the summit of the mountains, as far as Snow 
Hdl [meaning Nevada], about seventy miles, has been explored 
and gold found on every part. There are now probably three 
thousand people, including Indians, engaged in collecting gold. 
The amount collected by each man ranges from $10 to S350 
per day. The publisher of this paper collected with the aid 

of a shovel, pick, and a tin pan, from $44 to $128 per day 

averaging $100. The gross amount collected may exceed 
$000,000; of which amount our merchants have received about 
$250,000, all for goods, and in eight weeks. The largest piece 
known to be found weighs eight pounds." 


1848. — On the 14th of August the number of white miners 
was estimated at four thousand. Many of them were of 
Stephenson's Regiment and the disbanded Mormon Battalion. 
The Californian remarked on that day that " when a man 
with his pan or basket does not average $30 to $40 a day, he 
moves to another place." 

Four thousand ounces a day was the estimated production 
of the mines five months after the secret leaked out. In April 
the price of flour here was $4 per hundred. In August it had 
risen to $16. All other subsistence supplies rose in the same 
proportion. Here is part of a letter from Sonoma, to the Cal- 
ifornian, August 14th: — 

" I have heard from one of our citizens who has been at the 
placers only a few weeks, and collected Si, 500, still averaging 
$100 a day. Another, who shut up his hotel here some five or 
six weeks since, has returned with $2,200, collected with a 
spade, pick, and Indian basket. A man and Ins wife and boy 
collected $500 in one day." 

Sam Brannan laid exclusive claim to Mormon Island, in the 
American, about twenty-eight miles above its mouth, and levied 



a royalty of thirty per cent on all the gold taken there by the 
Mormons, who paid it for a while, but refused after they came 
to a better understanding of the rules of the mines. By Sep- 
tember the news had spread to Oregon and the southern coast, 
and on the 2d of that month the Californian notes that one 
hundred and twenty-five persons had arrived in town "by 
ship " since August 2Gth, In the " Dry Diggings " near 
Auburn — during the month of August, one man got §16,000 
out of five cart-loads of dirt. In the same diggings a good 
many were collecting from SSOO to $1,500 a day. 

In the fall of 184S, John Murphy, now of San Jose, discov- 
ered Murphy's Camp Diggings in Calaveras, and some soldiers 
of Stephenson's Regiment discovered Rich Gulch at Mokelumne 
Hill. That winter one miner at Murphy's realized 880,000. 
It was common report that John Murphy, who mined a num- 
ber of Indians on wages, had collected over 81,500,000 in gold- 
dust before the close of the wet season of 1848. 

The following notice of the discovery is from the Califor- 
nian, of San Francisco, on the 19th of April, 1848: — 

New Gold Mine. — It is stated that a new gold mine has 
been discovered on the American Fork of the Sacramento, sup- 
posed to be [it was not] on the land of William A. Leidesdortt', 
Esq., of this place. A specimen of the gold has been exhibited 
and is represented to be very pure. 

May opened with accounts of new discoveries. The Cali- 

fornian of May 3d said: — " Seven men, with picks and spades, 

gathered S1.G00 worth in fifteen days." That was a little more 

than 815 per man per day. On the 17th of May the same 

paper said : — 

" Many persons have already left the coast for the diggings. 
Considerable excitement exists here. Merchants and mechanics 
are closing doors. Lawyers and alcaldes are leaving their 
desks, farmers are neglecting their crops, and whole families are 
forsaking their homes, for the diggings." 

By May 24th gold-dust had become an article of merchan- 
dise, the price being from 814 to 816 per ounce. The Califor- 
nia/a of that date had these advertisements : — 

GOLD! GOLD!! GOLD!!!— Cash will be paid for California gold by E. E. 
Bockalew, Watchmaker and Jeweler, San Francisco. 

pOLD! GOLD!! GOLD!!!— Messrs. Dickson & Hay are purchasers of Sacra- 
^ mento gold. A liberal price given. Bee HrvE. 


Before Sutter hadquite satisfied himself that the metal found 
was gold, he went up to the mill, and, with Marshall, made a 
treaty with the Indians, buying of them their titles to the 
region round about, for a certain amount of goods. There was 
an effort made to keep the secret inside the little circle that 
knew it, but it soon leaked out. They had many misgivings 
and much discussion whether they were not making themselves 
ridiculous; yet by common consent all began to hunt, though 
with no great spirit, for the " yellow stuff" that might prove 
such a prize. 

Slowly and surely, however, did these discoveries creep into 

the minds of those at home and abroad; the whole civilized 
world was set agog with the startling news from the shores 
of the Pacific. Young and old were seized with the California 
fever; high and low, rich and poor, were infected by it; the 
prospect was altogether too gorgeous to contemplate. Why, 
they could actually pick up a fortune for the seeking ! 


While the real argonauts of 1S4S were wandering around 
among the hills and gulches that flank the western slope of 
the Sierra Nevada, armed with pan, spoon and butcher -knife, 
testing the scope and capabilities of the gold mines, the news 
of the discovery was speeding on its way to the Eastern States, 
by two routes simultaneously. 

It reached the frontier of Missouri and Iowa by the Mormon 
scouts and roving trappers about the same time that vessels 
sailing round Cape Horn took it to New York and Boston, 
which was in the late autumn of 184-S. The first reports 
repeatedly confirmed and enlarged upon, threw the whole 
country into the wildest excitement. In the city of New York 
and the extreme Western States the fever was hottest. 


1849. — The adventurers generally formed companies, expect- 
ing to go overland or by sea to the mines, and to dissolve 
partnership only after a first trial of luck together in the 
" diggings." In the Eastern and Middle States they would buy 
up an old whaling ship, just ready to be condemned to the 
wreckers, put in a cargo of such stuff as they must need them- 
selves, and provisions, tools, or goods, that must be sure to 
bring returns enough to make the venture profitable. Of 
course, the whole tieet rushing together through the Golden 
Gate made most of these ventures profitless, even when the 
guess was happy as to the kind of supplies needed by the 
Californians. It can hardly be believed what sieves of ships 
started, and how many of them actually made the voyage. 

Hundreds of farms were mortgaged to buy tickets for the 
land of gold. Some insured their Jives and pledged their poli- 
cies for an outfit. The wild boy was packed off hopefully. 
The black sheep of the flock was dismissed with a blessing, and 
the forlorn hope that, with a change of skies, there might be a 
change of manners. The stay of the happy household said, 
" Good-bye, but only for a year or two," to his charge. Unhap- 
py husbands availed themselves cheerfully of this cheap and 
reputable method of divorce, trusting time to mend matters 
in their absence. Here was a chance to begin life anew. 


"The miners found no governmental machinery competent to 
protect their lives or their property, and hence each mining 



camp made a law unto itself. The punishment, of course, was 
sure and swift, and, as a consequence there was but little ot it. 
Gold was left in deep canons with no one to watch it, and every 
opportunity was afforded for theft; but if there were any dis- 
posed to take what did not belong to them, the knowledge that 
their lives would pay the forfeit if detected, deterred them from 
it The excitement of the times led to gambling. It seemed 
that almost everybody, even those who had been leading church 
members at the East, were seized with the mania for gambling. 
Tables for this purpose were set out in every hotel, and one 
corner of many of the stores, both in mines and cities, were 
set apart for the monte table. 


"Sunday in the time of the mining excitement differed little 
from other days. Banks were open; expresses were running- 
stores were open for the most part; auctioneers were crying 
their wares, and the town was full of business and noise. 
Gambling saloons were thronged day and night. The plaza 
was surrounded with them on two sides, and partly on a third. 
Music of every sort was heard from them, sometimes of the 
finest kind, and now and then the noise of violence and the 
sound of pistol shots. The whole city was a strange and 
almost bewildering scene to a stranger." 

THE ERA OF 1849. 

"The 'fall of '49 and the spring of '50' is the era of Cali- 
fornia history, which the pioneer always speaks of with 
warmth. It was the free-and-easy age when everybody was 
flush, and fortune, if not in the palm, was only just beyond 
the grasp of all. Men lived chiefly in tents, or in cabins 
scarcely morn durable, and behaved themselves like a genera- 
tion of bachelors. The family was beyond the mountains; 
the restraints of society had not yet arrived. Men threw off 
the masks they had lived behind and appeared out in their true 
character. A few did not discharge the consciences and con- 
victions they had brought with them. More rollicked in a 
perfect freedom from those bonds which good men cheerfully 
assume in settled society for the good of the greater number. 
Some afterwards resumed their temperate, steady habits, but 
hosts were wrecked before the period of their license expired. 

" Very rarely did men, on their arrival in the country, begin 
to work at their old trade or profession. To the mines first. 
If fortune favored, they soon quit for more congenial employ- 
ments. If she frowned, they might depart disgusted, if they 
were able; but oftener, from sheer inability to leave the busi- 
ness, they kept on, drifting from bar to bar, living fast, reck- 
less, improvident, half -civilized lives; comparatively rich to-day, 
poor to-morrow; tormented with rheumatisms and agues, 
remembering dimly the joys of the old homestead; nearly 
weaned from the friends at home, who, because they were 
never heard from, soon became like dead men in their memory ; 

seeing little of women and nothing of churches; self-reliant, 
yet satisfied that there was nowhere any 'show' for them; 
full of enterprise in the direct line of their business and 
utterly lost in the threshold of any other; genial companions, 
morbidly craving after newspapers; good fellows, but short- 


At this day it seems strange that the news of this great dis- 
covery did not fly abroad more swiftly than it did. It would 
not seem so very strange, however, if it could be remembered 
how very improbable the truth of the gold stories then were. 
And it appeared to be most improbable, that if gold was 
really found, it would be in quantities sufficient to pay for 
o-oino- after it. People were a little slow to commit themselves, 
It first, respecting it. Even as lare as May 24, 1848, a corre- 
spondent writing in the Galifornian, a paper then published in 
San Francisco, expressed the opinion of some people, thus;— 
" What evil effects may not result from this mania, and the 
consequent abandonment of all useful pursuits, in a wild-goose 
chase after gold?" 

A good many people, far and near, looked upon the matter 
in this light for some time. The slowness with which the news 
traveled in the beginning, is seen in this: — 

Monterey, then the seat of government, is not more than 
four or five days' travel from the place where gold was dis- 
covered. The discovery took place not later than the first of 
February, 184S. And yet Alcalde Walter Golton says, in his 
journal, under date, Monday, May 29th, "Our town 
was startled out of its quiet dreams to-day by the announce- 
ment that gold had been discovered on the American Fork." 

If it took four months for the news of the discovery of gold 
to travel as far as Monterey, the capital town of the country, 
it is not surprising that it hardly got over to the Atlantic 
States within the year 1S4S. There was then an express 
that advertised to take letters through to Independence, Mis- 
souri, in sixty days, at fifty cents apiece. 

If the gold news had been thoroughly credited here, it might 
have been published all through the East by the first of May ; hut 
it was not. In the early fall of 1848, however, the rumor began 
to get abroad there, through private sources. At first it was 
laughed at, and those who credited it at all had no idea that 
gold existed here in sufficient quantities to be worth digging. 

colton's visit to the mines. 

Walter Colton, the alcalde of Monterey, and writer of " Three 
Years in California," hearing of the discovery of gold, visited 
the mines. From his descriptions we obtain an insight into 
the scones of those days. We copy his journal for a few days:— 


"1848. Oct. 12. — Wc are camped in the ceutevof the gold 





mines, in the heart of the richest deposits, where many hun- 
dreds are at -work. All the gold-diggers were excited by 
the report that a solid pocket of gold had been found on the 
Stanislaus. In half an hour a motley crowd, with crow-bars, 
pick -axes, spades, and wash-bowls went over the hills in the 
direction of the new deposit. I remained and picked out from 
a small crevice of slate rock, a piece weighing a half-ounce. 

" Oct. 13. — I started for the Stanislaus diggings. It was an 
uproarous lite; the moute-table with its piles of gold, glimmer- 
ing in the shade. The keeper of the bank was a woman. The 
bank consisted of a pile of gold weighing, perhaps, a hundred 
pounds. They seemed to play for the excitement, caring little 
whether they won or lost. 

" It was in this ravine that, a few weeks since, the largest 
lump of gold found in California was discovered. Its weight 
wan twenty-three (23) pounds, and in nearly a pure state. Its 
discovery shook the whole mines. (Query— Does any one 
know the name of the 6nder?) 


" Oct. 14. A new deposit was discovered this morning near 

the falls of the Stanislaus. An Irishman had gone there to 
bathe, and in throwing off his clothes, had dropped his knife 
which slipped into a crevice, and in getting it picked up gold- 
dust. He was soon traeked out, and a storm of picks were 
splitting the rocks. 

" Oct. 15.— Quite a sensation was produced by the arrival 
from Stockton of a load of provisions and whisky. The price 
of the former was:— flour, S2 per pound; sugar and coffee, $4>. 
The whisky was $20 per quart. Coffee-pots and sauce-pans 
were in demand, while one fellow offered S10. to let him suck 
with a straw from the bung. All were soon in every variety 

of inebriety. 

"Oct. 16.— I encountered to-day, in a ravine some three 
miles distant, among the gold washers, a woman from San Jose. 
She was at work with a large wooden bowl, by the side of a 
stream. I asked her how long she had been there, and how 
much gold she averaged per day. She replied: " Three weeks, 
and an ounce." 

"Oct. IS.— A German, this morning, picking a hole in the 
ground near our camping tree, struck a piece of gold weigh- 
ing about three ounces. As soon as it was known, some forty 
picks were flying into the earth, but not another piece was 
found. In a ravine, a little girl this morning picked up what 
she thought a curious stone, and brought it to her mother, who 
found it a lump of gold, weighing six or seven pounds. 

" Oct. 20.— I encountered this morning, in the person of a 
Welchman, a marked specimen of the gold-digger. He stood 
some six feet eight in his shoes, with giant limbs and frame. A 
slender strap fastened his coarse trowsers above his hips, and 
confined the flowing bunt of his flannel shirt. A broad-rimmed 

hat sheltered his browny features, while his unshorn beard and 
hair flowed in tangled confusion to his waist. To his back was 
lashed a blanket and bag of provisions; on one shoulder rested 
a huge crow-bar, to which was hung a gold-washer and skillet; 
on the other rested a rifle, a spade, and a pick, from which 
dangled a cup and a pair of heavy shoes. He recognized me 
as the magistrate who had once arrested him for breach of 
the peace. " Well, Alcalde," said he, " I am glad to see you in 
these diggings. I was on a burster; you did your duty, and I 
respect you for it; and now let me settle theditference between 
us with a bit of gold; it shall be the first I strike under this 
bog." Before I could reply, his traps were on the ground, and 
his pick was tearing up bog after bog. These removed he 
struck a layer of clay. " Here she comes," he ejaculated, and 
turned out a piece of gold that would weigh an ounce or more. 
"There, Aclalde, accept that, and when you reach home have 
a bracelet made for your good lady." He continued digging 

The Alcalde Meets the Miner. 

around the same place for the hour I remained, but never found 
another piece — not a particle. No uncommon thing to find 
only one piece and never another near it." 


Scattered all up and down through the mining districts of 
California are hundreds of such spots as that represented by 
Col ton. Time was when the same place was full of life and 
activity; when the flume ran; when the cabins were tenanted; 
when the loud voices of men rose, and the sounds of labor kept 
the birds away that now fly so fearlessly around the tumbling 
ruins. But the claim gave out, and the miners, gathering their 
tools together, vamosed for some other spot, and desolation set 
in. The unused flume dropped to pieces, ownerless huts became 
forlorn, and the debris only added to the dismalness of the 
place. Or who knows, some dark deed may have led to the 
abandonment of the claim, for surely the spot looks uncanny 
and gloomy enough for twenty murders. 



f California since its settlement to the pres- 
The Governors ot Oaliioim* ani- 
ent time were as follows :— - 



w» 1767-1771 

Gaspar de Portala 1771-1774 

Felipe de Bavri 1774-1782 

Felipe de Neve ' " " .1782-1890 

Pedro Fajes 1790-1792 

Jose Antonio Romea 1792-1794 

*Jose J. de Arrttlaga 1794-1800 

Diego de Boriea .1800-1S14 

Jose J. de Arrillaga " ' 181 4,_ 18 15 

*Jose Arguello 1815-1822 

Pablo Vincente de Sola 


, - , 1S22-1S23 

Pablo Vincente de bola .1823-1825 

Luis Arguello ■.■•■■•- j^ 18 25-Jan., 1831 

Jose Maria de Echeandia ^n ^^^ ^ 

Manuel Victoria ^ lg32 _ JaiL) 18 33 

* PioPlCO . Jan., 1833-Aug., 1835 

Jose Figuerra - 1835-Jan., 1S36 

*JoseCastro. ^J m6 _ Am ,, 183 G 

Nicolas Gutierrez 

Mariano Chico 

Nicolas Gutierrez 

Juan B. Alvarado 

Manuel Michel torena 

Pio Pico 

Jan., 1836— Apr. 

1836— Aug., 1836 
1836— Nov., 1836 
1836— Dec, 1S42 
1842— Feb., 1845 
1845— July 1846 


Organization of the Government. 

1846 -Thomas O. Larkin, the American Consul at Mon- 
terey, who under instructions had gained a great amount o 
influence among the leading native California, suggested 
llsed the Lance ofacircular by Governor Pico, . May 
1846, calling a convention of thirty of the more prominent 
me n in the country. This assemblage was to discuss the 
condition of affairs and to petition the Mexican authorities for 
an improved government; if the reoueat met with a^W, 
the territory was to be sold to some other power. The tend- 
neyof tins discussion would be towards the transfer of the 
territory to the United States. The convents did not meet, 
howeveU events transpired which precluded the pos.bihty 
, a peaceful transfer. Lieut. John C. Fremont arrived intha 
tear and soon became embroiled in a wordy conflict with th 
Sovities,andIdeand his party declared a revolution at 
Sonoma as heretofore mentioned. 

The more intelligent settlers of California saw at an early 
day the urgent necessity of a regular constitution and law. 
The provisional government existing since ^"f^f^ 
2 but a temporary affair and by no means able to satisfy th 
Zl of a great, growing and dangerous populat.on^whichhad 
Idenly gathered together. The inhab- 
„.■.! not wait the slow movements of Congress, 
the citizens of San Francisco, Sonoma, 
themselves, which they 


Com. John D.Sloat J% 

Com. R. F.Stockton Aug.l,, 846 

7, 1846— Aus. 17, 1846 

Jan. — , 1S47 

1, 1847 

Gen. S. W. 

Col. Richard B. Mason 

Gen. Bennet Riley 

May 31, 1847— Apr. 13, 1849 
Apr. 13, 1849— Dec 20, 1849 

now so strangely and sud 


Attempts were made by 

and San Jose to form legislatures for 

"vested with supreme authority. It was cpnckly found th t 
he e independent legislative bodies came into collision wi h 

lal other and nothing less than a general constitute would 

be satisfactory to the people. 

Great meetings for these purposes were held at San Jose, 
San FancLsco, Monterey, Sonoma, and other places, in the 
Iths of December and January, 18*8-9. It was i^e 
that deletes be chosen by popular electa from all parts 
that cleie a delegates were to form 

the State to meet at ban Jose. ±i , „ t i 1(1 ™,t 

o-eneral on the paiu 


a Constitution. 

„ „ Dec.20.lS49 

fPeter H. Burnett ^ ^ lggl 

JohnMcDougal Jan ^ lg52 

John Bigler Jan ^ 18H 

John Bigler Jan s> 1856 

J. Neely Johnson ^ ^ ^ 

John B. Weller ^ g> mQ 

fMilton S. Latham ^ u im 

John G. Downey Jjm ^ 18G2 

Leland Stanford ^ % lg63 

{Frederick F. Low ^ ^ lg67 

Henry H. Haight ^ % lgn 

fNewton Booth Feb 27, 1875 

Romualdo Pacheco ^ ^ ^ 

William Irwin ' ' J&n £ lss() 

George O. Perkins _ 

These movements were g* 
and no partisan feeling was shown 




t KuHit'ncd. \ Turn. Inurewwl from two to tour yoara. 

of all citizens 


i „„,.» thus working out for themselves this 

Toll ^lU at Monterey on the 1st of Septet to 
frame a Constitution. 

These delegate, were forty-eight in number, and wmle hej 

rep^rntealupartsoftUeState.tWeywealso.p— ^ 
of every State in the Union. They were men not much used 

m ed to do their duty in the best possible manner. 

deter 1111 



The delegates, at their first regular meeting on the 4th of 
September, chose by a large majority of votes, Dr. Robert 
Semple as President of the Convention; Captain William G. 
Marcy was then appointed Secretary, and the other necessary 
offices were properly filled up. After rather more than a 
month's constant labor and discussion, the existing Constitution 
of California was drafted and finally adopted by the Conven- 

This document was formed after the model of the most ap- 
proved State constitutions of the Union, and was framed in 
strict accordance with the most liberal and independent opin- 
ions of the age. 

On the 13th of October, 1849, the delegates signed the in- 
strument and a salute of thirty-one guns was fired. 

The house in which the delegates met was a large, handsome 
two-story stone erection, called " Colton Hall," and was, perhaps, 
the best fitted for their purposes of any building in the country. 
It was erected by Walter Colton, who was the Alcalde of 
Monterey, having been appointed by Commodore Stockton 
July 28, 1S46. The building is still standing in a good state 
of preservation, and we here present a view of it as it looked 
at that time. 


On Saturday, the 15th of December, 1849, the first Legisla- 
ture of the State of California met at San Jose. The Assembly 
occupied the second story of the State House — a cut of which 
is on page 65 — but the lower portion, which was designed 
for the Senate Chamber, not being ready, the latter body held 
their sittings, for a short period, in thehouse of Isaac Branham, 
on the south-west corner of Market Plaza. The State House 
proper was a building sixty feet long, forty feet wide, two 
stories high, and adorned with a piazza in front. The upper 
story was simply a large room with a stairway leading thereto. 
This was the Assembly Chamber. The lower story was 
divided into four rooms; the largest, twenty by forty feet, was 
designed for the Senate Chamber, and the others were used by 
the Secretary of State, and the various committees. The build- 
ing was destroyed by fire on the 29th of April, 1853, at four 
o'clock in the morning. 


On the first day of the first Legislative session only six Sen- 
ators were present, and perhaps twice asmany Assemblymen. 
On Sunday, Governor Riley and Secretary Halleck arrived, 
and by Monday nearly all the members were present. Num- 
ber of members: Senate, 16; Assembly, ,36. Total 52. No 
sooner was the Legislature fairly organized than the members 
began to growl about their accommodations. They didn't like 
the Legislative building, and swore terribly between drinks at 
the accommodations of the to-.Ti generally. Many of the 

solons expressed a desire to move the Capital from San Jose 
immediately. On the 19th instant Geo. B. Tingley, a member 
of the House from Sacramento, offered a bill to the effect that 
the Legislature remove the Capital at once to Monterey. The 
bill passed its first reading and was laid over for further action. 


On the 20th Gov. Riley resigned his gubernatorial office, and 
by his order, dated Head-quarters Tenth Military Department, 
San Jose, Cal., Dec. 20, 1849 (Order No. 41), Captain H. W. 
Halleck, afterwards a General in the war of the Rebellion, was 
relieved as Secretary of State. On the same day Governor 
Peter Burnett was sworn by K. H. Dimick, Judge of the Court 
of First Instance. 

The same day, also, Col. J. C. Fremont received a majority 
of six votes, and Dr. M. Gwin a majority of two for Senators 
of the United States. The respective candidates for the United 
States Senate kept ranches, as they were termed; that is they 

Colton Hall, Monterey, California. 

kept open house. All who entered drank free and freely. 
Under the circumstances they could afford to. Every man 
who drank of course wished that the owner of the establishment 
might be the successful candidate for the Senate. That wish 
would be expressed half a dozen times a day in as many dif- 
ferent houses. A great deal of solicitude would be indicated 
j ust about the time for drinks. 


On the evening of the 27th, the citizens of San Jose having 
become somewhat alarmed at the continued grumbling of the 
strangers within their gates, determined that it was necessary 
to do something to content the assembled wisdom of the State, 
and accordingly arranged for a grand ball, which was given in 
the Assembly Chamber. As ladies were very scarce, the 
country about was literally "raked," to use the expression of 
the historian of that period, " for seiioritas," and their red and 
yellow flannel petticoats so variegated the whirl of the dance 
that the American-dressed ladies and in fact the solons them- 
selves were actually bewildered, and finally captivated, for, as 
the record further states, "now and then was given a sly wink 



of the eye between some American ladies, and between them 
and a friend of the other sex as the seftoritas, bewitching and 
graceful In motion, glided by with a captured member. But 
notwithstanding this rivalry, the Erst California inaugural 
ball was a success. " The dance went on a-s merry as a mar- 
riage bell. All were in high glee. Spirits were plenty. Some 
hovered where you saw them not, but the sound thereof was 
not lost." 


Sneaking of the appellation applied to the first body of Cal- 
ifornia law-makers, i. e. 3 "The Legislature of a thousand 
drinks "the same quaint writer says, "with no disrespect for 
the members of that body, I never heard one of them deny 
that the baptismal name was improperly bestowed upon them. 
They were good drinkers -they drank like men. If they 
could not stand the ceremony on any particular occasion they 
would lie down to it with becoming grace. I knew one to be 
laid out with a white sheet spread over him, and six lighted 
candles around him. He appeared to be in the spirit land. 
He was really on land with the spirits in him-too full for 
utterance. But to do justice to this body of men, there were 
but a very few among them who were given to drinking habit- 
ually and as for official labor, they performed probably more 
than any subsequent legislative body of the State in the same 

o-iven time. 

° In the State House there was many a trick played, many a 
joke passed, the recollection of which produces a smile upon 
the faces of those who witnessed them. It was not infrequently 
that as a person was walking u P -stairs with a lighted candle, 
a shot from a revolver would extinguish it. Then what shouts 
of laughter rang through the building at the scared individual. 
Those°who fired were marksmen; their aim was true and they 
knew it." 


Speaking of the way in which these gay and festive Legis- 
lators passed their evenings, a writer says : « The almost nightly 
amusement was the fandango. There were some respectable 
ones and some which at this day would not be called respect- 
able. The term might be considered relative in its signification. 
It depended a good deal on the spirit of the times and the 
the notion of the attendant of such places. Those fandangos, 
where the members kept their hats on and treated their part- 
ners after each dance, were not considered of a high-toned 
character (modern members will please bear this in mind). 

There were frequent parties where a little more gentility was 
exhibited. In truth, considering the times and the country, 
they were very agreeable, The difference in language, in some 
degree prohibited a free exchange of ideas between the two 
sexes when the Americans were in excess. But then, what 
one could not say in so many words he imagined, guessed, or 

made signs, and on the whole, the parties were novel and inter- 


The grand out-door amusements were the bull and bear 
fiahte They took place sometimes on St. James, and some- 
time- on Market Square. Sunday was the usual day for bull- 
fights On the 3d of February the Legislators were enter- 
tained by a great exhibition of a fellow-man putting himself 
on a level with a beast. In the month of March there was a 
aood deal of amusement, mixed with a good deal of excitement. 
It was reported all over the Capital that gold had been dis- 
covered in the bed of Coyote creek. There was a general rush. 
Picks shovels, crow-bars, and pans had a large sale. Members 
of the Legislature, officials, clerks, and lobbyists, concluded 
suddenly to change their vocation. Even the sixteen dollars 
per day which they had voted themselves, was no inducement to 
keep them away from Coyote creek. But they soon came 
back again, and half of those who went away would never 
own it after the excitement was over. Beyond the above 
interesting, and presumably prominent facts, history gives us 
very little concerning the meeting of our first Legislature, 
except that the session lasted one hundred and twenty-nine 
days, an adjournment having been effected on the 22d of 
April, 1850. 


The second Legislature assembled on the 6th of January, 
1851. On the Sth the Governor tendered his resignation to the 
Legislature, and John McDougal was sworn in as his successor. 
The question of the removal of the capital from San Jose 
was one of the important ones of the session, so much so 
that the citizens of San Jose were remarkably active in cater- 
ing to the wishes of the members of the Legislative body. They 
offered extravagant bids of land for the capitol grounds, prom- 
ised all manner of buildings and accommodations, and even 
took the State scrip in payment for Legislators' board. But 
it was of no use. 

Vallejo was determines to have the capital, and began brib- 
ing members right and left with all the city lots they wanted. 
The Act of remc passed February 14th, and after that 

date the Legist suffer. The people refused to take 

State scrip for i board, charged double prices for 

everything; and l the 16th of May, the Solons finally 

pulled up stakes here was not thrown after them the 

traditional old sh ■ 1 assorted lot of mongrel oaths and 

Mexican maledict' u 



Third Session— < on ■ ' Vallejo, the new Capital, Janu- 
ary 5, 1752. Num "■ of m oftbers; Senate, -7; Assembly, 
62: total Si). 



Fourth Session — Convened at Vallejo, January 2, 1853- 
removed to Benicia, February 4, 1853. 

Fifth Session — Convened at Benicia, January 2, 1854, re- 
moved to Sacramento, February 25, 1854, where it has since 


In the beginning of 1860 the citizens of Sacramento deeded 
to the State, lots of land in the city on which a new State Cap- 
itol could be built. Work commenced the 15th day of May 
1861, and the corner-stone was laid with Masonic ceremonies, 
conducted by N. Green Curtis, then Grand Master of the Order. 
In a few years other blocks were added, so that now the grounds 
extend from Tenth to Fifteenth and from L to N streets. For 
this addition the citizens subscribed $30,000, the State appro- 
priation not being sufficient to fully pay for the land. The 
original architect was Reuben Clark, to whom the greatest 
miied of praise should be given for the beautiful building that 
now adorns the city and is an honor to the State. After the 
dedication ceremonies, work was discontinued on it for some 
time, and it was not until 1865 that labor was recommenced 
in earnest. Up to November 1, 1875, the cost, added to the 
usual items for repairs and improvements, amounted to $2,449,- 
42S.31. The building is two hundred and forty feet in height, 
the height of the main building being ninety-four feet. Its depth 
is one hundred and forty-nine feet and its length two hundred 
and eighty-two. The Assembly Chamber is seventy-three by 
seventy-five, with a height of forty-eight feet, and the Senate 
seventy-three by fifty-six, with the same height. The first, or 
ground story of the building, is sixteen feet above the level of 
the surrounding streets. 

The State Capitol, one of the prettiest in America, stands in 
a park of eight blocks, terraced and ornamented with walks, 
drives, -trees, shrubs and plants, forming one of the prettiest 
spots in the country. This fine structure cost about $2,500,000 
and its towering dome, surmounted by the Temple and Goddess 
of Liberty, rises two hundred and forty feet, and is the first 
object presented to view in the distance from whatever direc- 
tion the traveler approaches the city. A fine engraving of this 
building will be found as a frontispiece. 

The State Capitol Park, in which are located the Capitol 
building, the State Armory, and the State Printing Office, em- 
braces ten full blocks of land, and the breadth of four streets, 
running north and south. Recent improvements, lay out the 
grounds in a graceful landscape style, of extensive lawn and 
clumps of trees, and arranges them more especially as a drive. 
The main drive is in the form of an ellipse, the roadway being 
forty feet in width, and estimated to be about two-thirds of a 
mile in length. It is bordered by a double row of trees, and 
the grounds intervening between the roadway and the fences 
are being tastefully laid out in the best style of landscape gar- 

Descriptive and Statistical Matter. 

The Coast Range of mountains runs parallel to the ocean, and 
has an altitude of from two thousand to four thousand feet 
above the sea, and an average width of twenty to forty miles. 


On the general eastern boundary of California, and running 
nearly its entire length, lies the Sierra Nevada (snowy range), 
its summit being generally above the region of perpetual snow. 
In this State it is about four hundred and fifty miles long and 
eighty miles wide, with an altitude varying from five thousand 
to fifteen thousand feet above the level of the sea. Nearly its 
whole width is occupied with its western slope, descending 
to a level of three hundred feet above the sea; its eastern slope, 
five or six miles wide, terminating abruptly in the great inte- 

State House at San Jose, 1S49. 

rior basin, which is five thousand feet above the sea level. 
The sides of the Sierra Nevada, to a height of about eight thou- 
sand feet, are covered with dense forests of valuable timber, 
which is succeeded by rugged granite and perpetual snow. 


John Muir says: — 

" Few portions of the California Alps are, strictly speaking, 
picturesque. The whole massive uplift of the range, four hun- 
dred and fifty miles long by about seventy wide, is one grand 
picture, not clearly divisible into smaller ones; in this respect 
it differs greatly from the older and riper mountains of the 
Coast Range. All the landscapes of the Sierra were remodeled 
deep down to the roots of their granite foundations by the 
developing ice-floods of the last geological winter. 


" On the head-waters of the Tuolumne is a group of wild Alps 
on which the geologist may say the sun has but just begun to 
shine, yet in a high degree picturesque, and in all its main fea- 
tures so regular and evenly balanced as almost to appear con- 
ventional — one somber cluster of snow-laden peaks with gray 
pine-fringed granite bosses braided around its base, the whole 


urging free into the sky fro. the head of amagmuc en* 
whL «y walls are beveled away on both **^£ 
embrace it all without admitting anything not stripy Mong 
W to it The foreground was now all aflame with au umn 

contrasting brightly with the deep, cobalt blue of the sky, and 
Z blacked gray and pure, spiritual white of the rocks an 
glaciers. Down through the midst the young Tuolumne 
L seen pouring from its crystal fountains, now restmg m 
glassy pools as if changing back again into ice; now Raping ; m 
white cascades a, if turning to snow; gliding nghtand left 
between the granite bosses, then sweeping on through the smooth 
meadowy levels of the valley, swaying pensively from side to 
sidewitbcalm, stately gestures, pastdipping willows andsedges, 

and around groves of arrowy pine ; and throughout its whole 
eventful course, flowing fast or slow, singing loud or low, ever 
filling the landscape with spiritual animation, and manifesting 
the grandeur of its sources in every movement and tone." 


The most familiar peak in the State is, however, Mount 
Diablo, being very near its geographical center, and towering 
above all other peaks-prominent from its inaccessibility and 
magnificent panoramic sweep from its top-prominent from its 
selection by the Government as the initial point of base and 
meridian lines in the land survey, it being the reference point 
in about two-thirds of the State. 

It stands out boldly three thousand eight hundred and fifty- 
sis feet high, overlooking the tranquil ocean, thirty miles due 
east from the Golden Gate, serving as a beacon to the weary, 
sea-tossed mariner, far out on the blue, briny billows, pointing 
him to a haven of security in the great harbor through the 
Golden Gate itself ; and even on through bay and strait to 
anchorages safe and deep, up to where the foot-stones of the great 
pile meet and kiss the brackish waters. Grand old mountain, 
majestic, silent, yet a trumpet-tongued preacher ! Who is there 
of the-prosperous dwellers upon its slopes, or near its grateful 
shadows, that, going or coming by land or sea, does not look 
upon that blue receding or advancing pile with a full heart ? 

General Vallejo gives the following as the history of Mount 
Diablo (Mount Devil) : " In 1806, a military expedition from 
San Francisco marched against the tribe 'Bolgones,' who were 
encamped at the foot of the mountain. The Indians were pre- 
pared to receive the expedition, and a hot engagement ensued 
in the laro-e hollow fronting the western side of the mountain. 
As the victory was about to be decided in favor of the Indians, 
an unknown personage, decorated with the most extraordinary 
plumage, and making diverse movements, suddenly appeared 
near the combatants. The Indians were victorious, and the 
incognito (Puy), departed towards the mount. The defeated 
soldiers, on ascertaining that the Spirit went through the same 

ceremony daily, and at all hours, named the mount D.ablo, m 
Lion to its mysterious inhabitant, tha contmued thus to 
nakeits strange appearance until the tab. was subdued by 
the troops in command of Lieutenant Gabriel Moraga, ma 
second campaign, the same year. In the abongmal tongue, 
Pay signifies Evil Spirit; and, doubtless, rt s.gmfies devrl m 
the Anglo-American language." 

«Itk believed there are few points on the earths surface 
from which so extensive an area can be seen as from tins 
mountain." The writer has, from its summit, counted thirty- 
five cities and villages, where reside two-thirds of the mhabxt- 

ants of the State. 


The two great mountain ranges unite at the northern and 
southern part of the State, each connecting range having a 

lofty peak. 

In the northern connecting link is Mount Shasta, fourteen 
thousand four hundred and forty-two feet high. It rears its 
great, craggy snow-covered summit high in the air, and is often 
seen at a distance of two hundred miles at the south-west. It 
takes about three days to reach its summit and return. Tou can 
ride to the snow line the first day, ascend to the top the follow- 
ing morning, descend to your camp in the afternoon, and return 
to\he valley on the third day. Mount Shasta has a glacier, 
almost, if not quite, the only one within the limits of the United 
States. The mountain is an extinct volcano. Its summit is 
composed of lava, and the eye can easily trace the now broken 
lines of this old crater when viewed from the north. 

Mount Shasta is clothed with snow for a virtual mile down 
from its summit during most of the year. Mount Whitney is 
the highest point in the United States (14,900 feet) ; but Mount 
Shasta (14,442 feet) makes a more imposing appearance because 
it rises in solitary grandeur seven thousand feet above any 
mountains near it. In the Sierra Nevada range are more than 
one hundred peaks over ten thousand feet high, according to 
the State Geological Survey. 

In the southern connecting link is snow-capped Mount San 
Bernardino eleven thousand six hundred feet above the sea level. 
Between these two great ranges, lie the great interior basin of 
the State, comprising the Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys, 
really but one geographical formation, drained by the two 
great rivers bearing their respective names, and their tributa- 
ries; an uninterrupted level country of exceeding fertility, and 
the great future wheat growing section of the State. This 
basin extends north and south about four hundred miles, with 
an average breadth of from fifty to sixty miles, rising into un- 
dulating slopes and low hills as the mountains are approached 
on either side. It is covered with a diluvium from four hun- 
dred to fifteen hundred feet deep, and presents evidences of 
having once been the bed of a vast lake. 

Innumerable valleys are formed by spill's shooting oil trom 



the western slope of the Sierra Nevada range, and from the 
Coast range on either side, extending the entire length of the 
State; well watered by springs and living streams, possessing 
a «ood soil and climate, and every way adapted to profitable 
mixed husbandry. 

This great valley is drained from the north by the Sacra- 
mento river, and from the south by the San Joaquin, which, 
after meeting and uniting in the center of the basin, break 
through the Coast Range to the Pacific. At the southern ex- 
tremity are the Tulare lakes and marshes, which in the wet 
season cover a large extent of surface. Along the great rivers 
the valleys are generally low and level, and extremely fertile, 
rising into undulating slopes and low hills as the mountains are 
approached on either side, and broken on the east by numerous 
spurs from the Sierras. The following table gives the most 
noted mountains in the State :— 

Census of the State by Counties* 








Mount Whitney 
Mount Shasta.-. 
Mount TyndalL-. 

Mount Dana 

Mount Lyell 

Mount Brewer 

Mount Silliman— 
Lassen Butte. .. - 
Stanislaus Peak. . 

Round Top 

Colfax Village. -- 



fr'mS.F. above sea. 



244 14,442 

160 14,386 

148 13,227 

144 13,217 

152 13,886 

130 11.623 

183 10,577 



. 120 


s 157 








Snow Mountain.. - 
Mount St. John-. 
Mount Hamilton.. 
Mount St. Helena 

Mount Diablo 

Mount Bailey — 
Mount Tamalpais 
Maryaville Buttes. 
Faralloue Islands 
Clay Street Hill- 
Red Bluff 





ibove Sea. 













































In 1831, the entire population of the State was 23 025, of 

w honi 18,083 were Indian converts. Dunn g the jm>&* 

'44- -45 and '46 a great many emigrants from the United 

sL seUdin California. In January, 18,7, the white popu^ 

„i Thus Ran Franc sco has about «,uuu p^i 
is unequal. Thus, ban Bernar _ 

— *— •—JETS"— -- 

Costa, San Joaquin, 


Alpine (a) 



I 'iihiveras — 


Contra Costa 
Del Norte... 
El Dorado . . 




Kern (6) 


Lake(c) --- 

Lassen (d) 

Los Angeles 



Mendocino(e) .- 



Monterey - 

Modoc (j) 




Plumas (d) 

Sacramento — 
San Benito (Je) - 
San Bernardino.. 1 

San Diego 

San Francisco (y) 
San Joaquin (/*)-- 
San Luis Obispo.. 
San Mateo (</)-- - 
Santa Barbara. .. 

Santa Clara 

Santa Cruz 

Shasta (d) - 

Sierra - - - 


Solano -- 







Tuolumne (/i)-- 

Ventura O')--- 



The State 


Colored . - 
Chinese .- 
uj Indians 








































































2 022 







2,969 ' 


















dec 146 



















' 4,272 



864,686 304,439 

767,266 267,842 

6,265 1,993 

75,025 25,715 

16130 1 8,889 

square miles to each white 

Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Contra 

Sacramento, Yolo, Solano, Napa So --and Ma ^ 

on San Francisco, San Pablo, and Sursun bays and 

the Sacramento and San Joaquin nvers, "^ have 

of Mount Diablo, and *« ~*^" leaving. 

580,800 inhabitants, or about nfty-eigh ^^^ of 

little more than two to the square mile ftn 

the State. 

,,, ^^f«^^^^^X^S^Z^^ 

d those for Ban Franciseo were destroyed hy fl re. ^^ 2|73u; ^ fwwo. 

'^SVSiH"*""" 8 "-' '■"'■■"■■ 

follows : Contra 

of the State (save El Dorado not 

(b) In J805 organized. 


No. 14. Appendix to Senate 

El Dorado, and Mono. 

(c) In 1801 Lake from Nupa- 

, „ 1803 fcwon to* PlumflS al,d ShMta - $ 1" S sTmTwo from Sun Franciaeo. 
l Divided nnd attached to other counties. U ) v t 



It is „ an agricultural State now, however, that California 
is attracting attention, and to show what we« dourgm £* 
line we append a table of receipts and export, from San Fran 
Z of wheat, flour, barley, oats, beans and potatoes 


Each year terminates with June 30th :— 




in sacks. 

1857 1*HI? 

1838 M- 4 ? 4 

185 9 212,888 

18Gb::'. 419,749 

1861 834,020 

1862 •••• 500,304 

1863::: 7S1,138 

1864 715,97d 

1S65 ■ 310,691 

1806 917,217 

1867 1,967,197 

1868 1,878,508 

1869 2,238,800 

18 7q 2,244,061 

1871 1,597,756 

1S7 2" 937,203 

1873 3,815,911 

1874 3,079,473 

1875 3,731,104 

18 76 2,652,461 

1877 4,115,554 

1878* 1,864,644 

1879 . 3,839,180 

1880 2,S91,660 


1857 43.9?° 

ill© ::.... 2o,6i8 

i860::::: mm 

1861 707,156 

1862 385,600 

1863 492,724 

1864 509,730 



1866 626,060 

1S67 1,697,402 

1868 1,691,115 

1869 1,912,095 

1870 1,974,259 

1871 1,386,834 

1872 738,206 

1S73 3,537,874 

1874 3,069,123 

1875 3,413,669 

1S76 2,490,633 

1S77 4,029,253 

1878 1,765,304 

1879 3,867,955 

1880 2,591,545 



























in sacks. 



in sacks. 

























in sacks. 















































State Surveyor-General, William Minis, places the area of 
the State at 100,500,000 acres, divided as follows :— 
Agricultural and mineral lands surveyed to June 

aval auu mmciat i»u«" ««*,«,— A nn-t it A 

1879 t°AHilt 


Agricultural and mineral lands unsurveyed 

Private grants surveyed to June 30, 1879 8,4d9 ,694 








in centals. 

in centals. 


in centals, 

in centals. 



































































































1 1873 























| 282,875 

| 1877 






1 1878 






j 1879 






! 1880 



Mission Church property 

Pueblo Lands 

Private grants unsurveyed . . . . . ... 

Indian and military reservations ci?Snn 

Lakes, islands, bays and navigable rivers i?n ru 

Swamp and overflowed lands unsurveyed JiJJ'tnn 

Salt marsh and tide lands around San Francisco bay ltJ "'""" 
Salt marsh and tide lands around Humboldt bay. ;l ■■" 

Aggregate "iMOOO 


From various official sources we have compiled the subjoined 
table, showing the total area, the area sold by the Government 
(that is, held by private ownership), the area enclosed, and the 
area cultivated, in every county of the State— all in square 
miles. The figures are not exact, nor is it possible to make 
them so from any official records now in existence. The area 
"sold" is that treated as subject to taxation in the several 
counties, and the areas enclosed and cultivated are reported 
annually in the Assessor's reports. 

In some cases, considerable quantities of land have been dis- 
posed of by the Federal Government, bub in such a manner 
that they are not subject to taxation. Thus, the Southern Pa- 
cific Railroad Company has built 150 miles of its road in San 
Diego county, and is entitled to twenty square miles of land as 
subsidy for each mile of the road, making a total of 3,000 
square miles; but this land has not yet been conveyed by patent, 
and nobody is authorized to say precisely which section will 
pass under the grant. The total areas, as given in the following 
table, are taken from calculations made by J.H. Wilde, Esq. 




Prepared for Elliott & Moore's County History. 

rrelniles.each square represent, 50 Bquare mdea land. 
Zre rep .scuts 50 square miles cultivated, fraction* «M 
square n* hnt u0tcu i tivft ted. 

Arranged in square miles, each square 

« rej 
Eool. dotted ^uare presents 50 square nules BoW 

Each black 

cultivated, and about one 

valuations arc from A—wjJgl^^ fco mdivillua l 8 

San Luis Obispo 










" I I I I I 




3^55im±m±rniixnzrirL^' _ 820 

Santa Barbara 



r ! ' ' 







Santa Cruz. 


Ban Mntco. 


Marin. — . 

jgl.l.M-1'l-H-H 1-1 



Contra Costa. 








Solano. - : 

m M ffi .|.i.i-i' i-i"-'-^'-' 

Nap — -—ttttdilD 



Sierra. , .. — , — , — -. — ; — , — i 








[teal and Pewonal. 








i u 




San Joaquin 


1 ,350 







Santa Clara. - '""T , , , , i i ~i ; ' " : ! 



1 ,380 



BBUili •' •' ■ ' ' ' ' T3SO 150 ^L 








Marip 1 







' 30J 

im rnTnra 

G,l 57,210 




I I I I I „ lfl fin 1,091,779 

4,1 SR ''■ 




n i i i I I I I I 1 I 55 li8 _ 



] ^mk 



3 oq 1,213,184 


i|Tl I I 1 I II ' 1 ' ■ ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' 









1. -I'l-l 

! ■!■' I ij 



Tvrrn n. 

rroi' . 




'17-2.40 1 

1.1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 ii Luiir 

1 Mill II LLLLL 

- 4j±m^~n ' 1 1 1 



-'-'-- JR^-pPrH 

1 1 

j — 1 

Los Angeles. 




■ BIB 

I 'l-I'l 

I I 







m 1 1 i n 1 11 1 ij 





I I 

l ^ ±1 - • M00 40 2,000 





rriTi' 1 i u 








LLLU-U- 1 I ' ' ' ' - ' ' ' ' ' ' Ms " 000 3,101.177 




ebH:ttm:m:itooXLm , , , 1 1 


1 hiCQiQifffi-!-!-!-- 


lT W¥vGXiziir^^ 


^ ' ' ! ; ( ^n-timimHWffim 







§r.7.s, 839,2 14 


™ n i D tn rIiow the vast size of California, 




Its extreme length, north-west and south-east, is about seven 
hundred and seventy miles, and greatest breadth three hundred 
and thirty miles, embracing every variety of climate in the 
known world. It has an area of one hundred and sixty-four 
thousand nine hundred and eighty-one square miles, or one 
hundred million nine hundred and forty-seven thousand eight 
hundred and forty acres, of which eighty-nine million acres 
are suited to some kind of profitable husbandry. 

California is four times greater in area than Cuba. It will 
make four States as large as New York, which has a population 
of nearly five million. It will make five States the size of 
Kentucky, which has a population of one million three hundred 
and twenty-one thousand. It will make twenty-four States 
the size of Massachusetts, having a population of one million 
five hundred thousand. It has an area one hundred and forty- 
four times as great as Rhode Island. It is four-fifths the size 
of Austria, and nearly as large as France, each having a pop- 
ulation of thirty-six million. It is nearly twice the size of 
Italy, with twenty-seven million inhabitants, and it is one and 
one-half times greater than Great Britain and Ireland, having 
a population of thirty-two million. 

California needs population — she is susceptible of sustaining 
millions where she now has thousands. 

"With industry, economy, sobriety, and honesty of purpose, no 
man in this State, with rare exceptions, will fail of success in 
the ordinary pursuits of life. 


California has a sea-coast extending the whole length of the 
State, amounting, following the indentations, to somewhat over 
seven hundred miles. The principal bays and harbors, begin- 
ning on the south, are San Diego, Santa Barbara, San Luis 
Obispo, Monterey, San Francisco, Tomales, Bodega, and Hum- 

San Francisco bay, the most capacious and best protected 
harbor on the western coast of North America, is nearly fifty 
miles long (including its extension, San Pablo bay,) and about 
nine miles wide. The entrance to the bay is through a strait 
about five miles long and a mile wide, and is named Chryso- 
pylse, or Golden Gate. 


There are few lakes worthy of mention in California. The 
largest is Tulare, in the southern part of the State, which is 
very shoal. It is about thirty-three-miles long by twenty-two 
wide, though in the wet season it covers a much larger area. 
Owen's Kern, and Buena Vista are much smaller lakes, in the 
same vicinity. 

Donner Lake and Lake Tahoe are small bodies of water much 
visited by tourists, lying near the eastern border of the State. 

Lake Mono, fourteen miles long from east to west and nine 
miles wide, lies in Mono county, east of the Sierra Nevada. 
The water, being saturated with various mineral substances, 
the chief of which are salt, lime, borax, and carbonate of soda, 
is intensely bitter and saline, and of such high specific gravity 
that the human body floats in it very lightly. No living thing 
except the larva of a small fly and a small crustacean, inhabits 
this lake, which is sometimes called the Dead Sea of California. 

The other lakes are: Clear, in Lake county, in the western 
part of the State, about ten miles long; and Klamath and 
Goose lakes, lying partly in Oregon. 


Prior to 1864, no very marked results were reached in farm- 
ing in California, the export of agricultural products with the 
exception of wool, not having been such as to attract atten- 
tion abroad. And owing to the drought that prevailed in 1863 
and 1864, California had but little grain or other farm produce 
to spare, flour having been to some extent imported. The 
large extent, undoubted fertility, and known capabilities of the 
lands of the San Joaquin, Sacramento and Salinas valleys give 
assurance that Agriculture will become the predominant inter- 
est of its people. 

The principal staples which the soil and climate of these val- 
leys favor are the cereal grains. Wild oats are indigenous to 
the country, and on lands allowed to run wild, will run out 
other small grains, but are cultivated only as a forage plant, 
which, cut while green, makes an excellent hay. Barley also 
thrives well, and in a green state, is often cut for hay. But 
the great staple, from being "the staff of life," and the ease of 
cultivation over other products in this climate, is wheat. In a 
moderately rainy season it is capable of perfecting its growth 
before the heats of summer have evaporated the moisture from 
the roots, andacrop is nearly sure of being made. No disease, 
rust, or insect harms the grain, although smut was in early 
days very prevalent, but by proper treatment has nearly disap- 
peared. There has always been a good demand for the surplus 
crop of this cereal, in the mines and for export, and its cultiva- 
tion has been profitable. 

Cotton cultivation has been experimented upon in Fresno 
county, and in the Tulare Basin, where the yield has averaged 
five hundred pounds to the acre of a fine textile fibre. 

Next to the cultivation of cereals, the vine engrosses the 
minds of California agriculturists more than any other produc- 
tion, the product of her vineyards finding favor in all parts 
of the world. 

Many of our subscribers are directly interested in producing 
wheat, and the following table giving the fluctuations of the 
market will be found of great value for reference. 



Fluctuation of Prices in the San Francisco Wheat Market, 



for Good Shipping Wheat. 

MONTPELLIER, Cashier Granger's 

864, to June, 1879. 



Illustrated History 



The Sacramento is about three hundred and seventy miles 
long , ao d is navigable for large steamboats at all seasons to 
Sacramento, ninety miles from its mouth, or one hundred and 
twenty miles from San Francisco, and for smaller craft to Red 
Bluff', one hundred an fifty or two hundred miles above Sac- 

ramento. . 

The San Joaquin, about three hundred and fifty miles long 
is navigable for ordinary steamers to Stockton, and for small 
craft during the rainy season to the mouth of the Tulare 
slough, about one hundred and fifty miles. The Calaveras, 
Stanislaus, Tuolumne, and Merced empty into the San Joaquin. 
Tule and swamp lands line the banks of the river. The soil is 
rich and needs only to be protected against high waters, to 
equal any in the State for production. The tules are a sort of 
tall rush, and in early times, fires swept over them as on a 
prairie. The effect is faintly indicated in our engraving. 


Among the many remarkable natural curiosities ; of California 
is the valley of the Yo Semite, fully described in a separate 


The Ueysers are also remarkable natural phenomena. There 
is a collection of hot sulphur springs, more than three hundred 
in number, covering about two hundred acres, in a deep gorge, 
in the north-east part of Sonoma county. They are about 
seventeen hundred feet above the sea, and are surrounded by 
mountains from three thousand to four thousand feet high. 
Hot and cold, quiet and boiling springs are found within a few 
feet of each other. 

There are five natural bridges in California. The largest is 
on a small creek emptying into the Hay fork of Trinity river. 
It is eighty feet long, with its top one hundred and seventy 
feet above the water. In Siskiyou county there are two, about 
thirty feet apart, ninety feet long; and there are two more on 
Coyote creek, in Tuolumne county, the larger two hundred and 
eighty-five feet long. 

The most noted caves are the Alabaster cave in Placer county, 
containing two chambers, the larger two hundred feet long by 
one hundred wide ; and the Bower cave in Mariposa county, 
having a chamber about one hundred feet square, reached by 
an entrance seventy feet long. 

1 The most recently discovered of the great natural wonders of 
the State is the petrified forest, about seventy-five miles north 
of San Francisco, the existence of which was first made public 
in 1870. 

Portions of nearly one hundred distinct trees of great size, 
prostrate and scattered over a tract three or four miles in 
extent, were found, some on the surface and others projecting 
from the mountain side. 


California is noted for its large forests of excellent timber, 
and for treesof mammoth size. The sides of the Sierra Nevada, 
to the height of two thousand five hundred feet, are covered 
with oaksfmanzanita and nut pine; and above this, to ahe.ght 
of eight thousand feet, with dense forests of pine, fir, cypress, 
hemlock, and other coniferous trees. 

Dense forests of redwood exist on the coast north of latitude 
thirty-seven degrees. This timber is used for fence posts, rail- 
road tics, and furnishes lumber for all building purposes. It 
answers the same for house material in California as Wisconsin 
and Michigan pine does in the Mississippi valley. There is a 
large amount of timber of the various species named in the 
mountains and valleys in the northern part of the State, from 
the Sierra Nevada range to the ocean. 

White and live oak abound in large quantities on the west 
slope of the Coast Range, and in the intervening valleys south 
of latitude 37°, in the counties of Monterey, San Luis Obispo, 
and Santa Barbara. This wood is chiefly used for fuel, and is 
of little value for building or fencing purposes. 

A great part of the Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys, the 
Colorado basin, the east slope of the Coast mountains, and the 
Coast Range south of Point Conception, are treeless. , 


The redwood, bearing a strong resemblance to the mammoth 
frequently grows to a height of three hundred feet, and a diam- 
eter of fifteen feet. 

The sugar pine is a large tree, and one of the most graceful 
of the evergreens. It grows about two hundred feet high and 
twelve feet in diameter. This wood grows in the Sierra 
Nevada, is free-splitting, and valuable for timber. The yellow 
pine and white cedar are all large trees, growing more than 
iwn hundred feet high and six or eight feet in diameter. 

The story is told of two men who were engaged in the cut- 
ting of one of these immense trees into logs, with a cross-cut 
saw. After they had sawed themselves out of sight of each 
other, one of them became impressed with the belief that the 
saw was not running as easily as it ought, when he crawled on 
the top of the tree to remonstrate with his partner, whom he 
discovered to be fast asleep. 

The visitor to California has not seen it all until he has spent 
a week in the deep recesses of a redwood forest. It is then, 
standing beside the towering monarch of the forest, that a man 
will realize his utter insignificance, and how inestimably ephem- 
eral he is compared with many other of God's handiworks. Ho 
looks upon a tree thai, stood when Christ was yet in Ins youth. 
the circles of whose growth but mark the cycles of time almost 
since the first man was, and on whose tablets might have been 
written the records of the mighty men of old. 





I N attempting to write the early history of the temtory 
now embraced within the limits of Merced county we h J 

I'Xtd, coated, for Mariposa county may 
be considered the mother of Merced. 


^'^^Uuh: interest to learn something 
of its discovery. imp0 rtant event is taken 

:rx— ™ > . .— - — -"-" " "- "" 

from the land . 


This great problem was satisfactorily solved by the Ban 
Oarlosl ship J of perhaps some two ^f^*" "?' 
at the very uLst-in the month of June, 17 5. W en she 
entered, they reported that they had found a Ian -locked 
with two arms, one making into the interior' about fifteen 
leagues to the southeast, another three, four, or maybe 
five leagues to the north, where there was a large bay about 
L leagues across and of a round figure into *J_«^ 
the great river of our Father, San Francs (flu 1 Hta 
Sacramento,) which was fed by five other rivers aU o hem 
copious streams, flowing through a plain so wide that rt was 
bounded only by the horizon, and meeting to form the d 
„reat river; and all this immeusrty of water d seta ng 
t,e into he Pacific ocean, which is there called the Cult 
c 71 Faralloues. This very striking desenp tion was 
a cl enough for the purposes of that day; and as soon 
111 and Ms people had arrived, and Ansa in person had 
Tone up and selected the sites, a party was sent ou by land 
another by sea to establish the Presidio an M = 
« Francisco The date of the foundation of the Presidio 
t the of September, and of the Mission, the 9th of 

Oct be 1776. The historian mentions in connection with 
^ Reding*, some things which may claim a moment s 


In the valley of San Jose, the party coming up by land 
In the valley k fchey mM 

saw some annuals hey toot ^ ^ 

one, they being of the size 01 



those of a deer, but so long that their tips were eight feet 
apart. This was their first view of the elk. The soldiers 
made the observation that thej could not run against the 
wind by reason of these moDstrous antlers. 
* And after the Presidio and before the Mission was estab- 
lished, an exploration of the interior was organized, as 
usual, by sea and land. Point San Pablo was given as the 
rendezvous; but the Captain of the Presidio, who undertook 
in person to lead the land party, failed to appear there, 
having, with the design to shorten the distance, entered a 
canada near the head of the bay, which took him over to San 
Joaquin river. So he discovered that stream." 

Whether or not the "Captain of the Presidio" above 
referred to, was Captain Anza, we are not sure, but we are 
of the opinion that he was, and that to him belongs the 
honor of discovering and naming the San Joaquin river. 
At any rate it is certain that the San Joaquin was discovered 
and named between the 17th of September and the 9th of 
October, 1776, or a little more than two months after the 
Declaration of Independence of the United States. 


So far as the discovery and naming of these two streams 
are concerned, we shall have to depend somewhat upon tra- 
dition. Like the names of almost all other rivers and 
countries, the origin of these names is somewhat unceitain. 
Although we cannot point to any written evidence of their 
discovery, we have information upon this subject which we 
consider reliable, and, to our minds, quite satisfactory. The 
authentic history of the part of California now included in 
the counties of Merced and Mariposa, reaches no farther 
back than 1849. Previous to that eventful year all concern- 
ing the territory mentioned is obscure and uncertain. The 
early Spanish explorers and Missionaiy Fathers of Upper 
California, clung tenaciously to the west side of the Mount 
Diablo range of mountains and the shores of the Pacific 
ocean. The crest of this range was, for a long time after 
the discovery of San Joaquin river had ceased to be 
remembered, their ultima tkule. They had no idea of the 
form or extent of the San Joaquin valley. 

In a History of Upper and Lower California, published in 
1835, by Alexander Forbes, no mention is made of either the 
San Joaquin river or valley. Mr. Forbes and his contempo- 
raries were as ignorant of the physical features of this part of 
the State as they were of Oregon, a country of which they had 
scarcely more than heard. He gives us a very good descrip- 
tion of that part of the State west of the Mount Diablo 
range, but of the San Joaquin country he knew absolutely 

A map accompanies his history on which the Sierra Ne- 
vada mountains do not appear. He makes brief mention of 
the Sacramento river, and says that a short distance above 

its mouth there is quite a large river emptying into it which 
he calls Jesus Maria; but he does not say whether it comes 
from the east or west, north or south. 

A large lake is represented on the map which had, and 
has no existence whatever. "We presume the early settlers 
had heard from the Indians something of Lake Bigler, and 
Mr. Forbes may have intended his lake for that celebrated 
sheet of water, but he places it more than one hundred 
miles from its true position. 


Probably the first white men who ever penetrated the 
San Joaquin valley to any considerable distance above the 
mouth of the river, were the trappers employed by the 
Hudson Bay Company. Bancroft says that "between the 
years 1825 and 1830, the Rocky Mountain Fur Company, of 
St. Louis, extended their operations over California and 
Oregon, but at a loss of the lives of nearly one-half of their 
employes." Evidences of the presence of white men in this 
valley at an earlier date than those above mentioned have 
been found; and it is probable they were the agents of the 
Hudson Bay Company, or were French-Canadian fur 

"These coureurs des bois, or wood-rangers, as they were 
called," says Bancroft, "were admirably adapted, by their 
disposition and superior address, to conciliate the Indians 
and form settlements amoDg them." 

young's trapping party. 

But of these expeditions we have very meagre accounts. 
Lieutenant-Colonel DeWitt C. Peters, in his Life of "Kit" 
Carson, says: " When they were fully recruited, the party 
started for the San Joaquin, and commenced trapping down 
the river. What gave the men great surprise, they dis- 
covered unmistakable signs of another trapping party. In 
a short time it appeared that they were close to a party be- 
longing to the Hudson Bay Company, commanded by 
Peter Ogden. Young's men, however, continued setting 
their traps on the San Joaquin and its tributaries. The two 
parties were near each other for some time, and as deer, elk 
and antelope existed by thousands around them, which it 
was no trouble to kill in any numbers desirable, they fared 
well." The party above mentioned was commanded by Mr. 
Ewiug Youug, of Taos, New Mexico, and included the 
renowned "trapper and hunter," Kit Carson. The events 
here related occurred in 1829. 


The first Americans who arrived in California overland, 
according to an article in the PidHCW, were under the com- 
mand of Jedediah Smith of Now York, He uooompanied 



the first trapping and trading expedition sent from St. 
Louis to the headwaters of the Missouri by Gen. Ashley. 
The ability and energy displayed by him, as a leader ot 
parties in trapping beaver, were considered of so much im- 
portance by General Ashley that he soon proposed to admit 
him as a partner in the Rocky Mountain Fur Company. 
The proposal was accepted and the affairs of the concern 
were subsequently conducted by the firm of Ashley & Smith 
until 1828, when Mr. William L. Sublette and Mr. Jackson, 
who had been engaged in the same business in the moun- 
tains associated themselves with Mr. Smith, and bought 
oat General Ashley. They continued the business under 
the name of the Rocky Mountain Fur Company until the 
summer of 1830, when they retired from the mountains, 
disposing of their property and interest in the enterprise to 
Messrs. Fitzpatriek, Bridge* Solomon, Sublette, and 
Trapp. Mr. W. L. Sublette subsequently re-engaged in the 


-In the spring of 1826 Mr. Smith, at the head of a party 
of about twenty-five men, left the winter quarters of the 
company to make a spring and fall hunt. Traveling west- 
erly he struck the source of the Green river, which he 
folfowed down to its junction with Grand nver, where the 
two form the Colorado. He there left the river and travel- 
og westerly, approached the Sierra «aof^ 
When traveling in that direction m search ot a iavor.ble 
point to continue his exploration towards the ocean he 
crossed the mountains and descended into the great valley 
of California near its southeastern extremity ; thus being no 
only the first American, but the first person who, from h 
J or north, had entered the magnificent valleys of the 
San Joaquin and Sacramento, or who had ever -see, .or «- 
plored any of the rivers falling into the Bay of San 

Francisco. prosecuted with 

-The following winter and spring f 
success the casing of beaver, on the stress flow.g ^ 

accompanied by a to , Eocky Mountain Fur Company, 
summer rendezvous of JJJJ^ Selecting 

Sierra Nevada, he crossed it at a point of elevation so great, 
that on the night of the 27th of June, most of his mules 
died from intense cold. He descended the eastern slope of 
the mountains, and entered upon the thirsty and sterile 
plains that were spread out before him in all then- primi- 
tive nakedness; but his horses were unable to accomplish 

the journey. 

Next to the Bedouin of the great African desert, if not 
equally with him, the trapper of the wilds of the American 
continent worships the noble horse, which not only proudly 
carries his owner up to the huge bison, when hunger presses 
the hunter, and swiftly flees from the overpowering horde of 
savages who seek his life; but while the solitary, benighted, 
and fatigued hunter snatches a few shreds of repose, stands 
a trusty sentinel, with ears erect and penetrating eye, to 
catch the first movement of every object within its view, or 
with distended nostril, to inhale the odor of the red man 
with which the passing breeze is impregnated, and arouse 
his affectionate master. What, then, were the feelings of 
these men, as they saw their favorite steeds, which had long 
been their companions, and had been selected for their 
uoble bearing, reeling and faltering on those inhospitable 
plains. Still worse when they were compelled to sever the 
Little thread of life, and dissolve all those attachments and 
vivid hopes of future companionship and usefulness by the 
use of the rifle, which at other times, with unerring aim, 
would have sent death to the man who should attempt to de- 
prive them of their beloved animals. 

They hastily cut from the lifeless bodies a of 
flesh, as the only means of sustaining their own existence; 
L in this manner they supported life until they passed the 
desert and arrived on foot at the rendezvous. 


A party was immediately organized, and, with such sup- 
put as were required for the company, left for California 
M r S mithhasteninghis departure. Traveling south, toavoid 
I somedegree, the snowand cold of winter, he descended and 
: Zd Grind river, of the Colorado and — £* 

— ::: :^t"^= :-- 

party, with the exception of -men .id M e Bm^,W oj 

r^TSirX- immediately^ 

tedbv h military officer at that place, because they had 

r P a^ Thi/funcaonary forwarded an account of 


the arrival and detent!,, of the foreigners to the command- 
ant of San Diego, who transmitted the same , to General 
Echandia, then Governor and Commander-iu-chiei of Call- 

forma- . , 

After a harassing delay Mr. Smith was permitted to pro- 
ceed to Monterey, and appear before the governor. Througli 
the influence and pecuniary assistance of Captain John 
Cooper, an American, then resident of Monterey, he was 
liberated, and having procured such supplies as could be 
obtained in that place, partially on account ot beaver-fur to 
be sent from the summer quarters on the Sacramento river, 
and partly on credit, he hired a few men and proceeded 
to the camp of the party which he had previously left in the 
Sacramento valley. After forwarding the fur to Monterey, 
he traveled up the Sacramento, making a most successful 
hunt up this river and its tributaries within the valley. As- 
cending the western sources of the Sacramento, he passed 
Shasta mountain, when he turned westerly and arrived on 
the coast, which he followed south to the TJmpqna river. 
While Mr. Smith and two men were in a canoe, with two or 
three Indians, engaged in examining the river to find a 
crossing, his camp was unexpectedly surprised by the 
Indians, who had, up to this time, shown the most friendly 
disposition, and the entire party, with the exception of one 
man, were murdered. Mr. Smith and the men with him in 
the canoe, after wandering many clays in the mountains, 
where they were obliged to secrete themselves by day and 
travel by night, to avoid the Indians, who were scouring the 
country in pursuit, succeeded in escaping from their vicinity, 
and arrived at Fort Vancouver, a post of the Hudson Bay 
Company, on' the Columbia river. The man who escaped 
from the camp at the massacre of the party was badly 
wounded, and without arms to defend himself or procure 
food, succeeded in sustaining life and making his way 
through many vicissitudes for a period of thirty-eight days, 
when he reached Fort Vancouver. On his arrival there Mr. 
Smith contracted with the superintendent to sell him the 
large quantity of fur which had fallen into the hands of the 
Indians on the Umpqua, provided he would assist in re- 
covering it, and to furnish a guide to lead a trapping party 
into the Sacramento valley. -A company was fitted out 
under the command of Lieutenant McLeod, which proceeded 
to the scene of disaster, and after, recovering the fur, with 
which Mr. Smith returned to the fort, continued south, 
under the guidance of one of Smith's men, to the Sacra- 
mento valley, where a most valuable hunt was made A 
laige number of horses from California was also obtained, 
with which the party attempted to return in the fall of 1828. In 
crossing the mountains they were overtaken by a violent snow 
storm, in which they lost all their horses. From the hasty 
and unsuitable manner in which they attempted to secrete 
their valuable stock of fur from the observation and dis- 
covery of the Indians or other body of trappers, it was 

found in a ruined state by a party sent to convey it to the 
fort in the following spring, and McLeod was discharged 
from the service of the company for his imprudence in at- 
tempting to cross the mountains so late in the fall. 


Another band was fitted out from Fort Vancouver, by the 
Hudson Bay Company under Captain Ogden, of New York, 
who for some time had been in the employ of that corpora- 
tion, with which Mr. Smith left the fort on his final de- 
parture from the Pacific shore, for the rendezvous of the 
Rocky Mountain Fur Company. This company traveled up 
Lewis river, in the direction of the South Pass, when Mr. 
Smith pursued hisjourney with a few men. Captain Ogden 
turned south, and traveling along the eastern base of the 
Sierra Nevada, entered the valley of the Tulares, on the 
trail which Smith had made in 1826. He arrived in the 
valley after McLeod bad left on his ill-fated journey over 
the mountains, where he spent the winter of 1828-9, and the 
following summer returned to the Columbia river with a 
valuable hunt. 


One of the survivors of the massacre of Smith's party on 
the Rio Colorado remained in California. He was a black- 
smith by trmle, and obtained employment at the missions of 
San Gabriel and San Luis Rey. His name was Galbraith, 
and while in the mountains previous to his advent to Cali- 
fornia, was recognized as the most fearless of that brave 
class of men with whom he was associated. His stature was 
commanding, and the Indians were awed by his athletic and 
powerful frame, while the display of his Herculean strength 
excited the surprise of all. Many were the incidents that 
occurred in California during his residence, of which he was 
| the principal actor. On one occasion, while employed at the 
'■ mission of San Luis Rey, he became riotous while under the 
influence of aguadiente, and was warned that unless he con- 
ducted himself with greater propriety it would be necessary 
to confiue him in the guard-house. This served to exasper- 
ate instead of to quiet his unruly passious. A corporal with 
two men were ordered to arrest Galbraith. On their arrival 
at the shop, they found the follower of Vulcan absorbed in 
anathemas, which he was pouring forth in rapid succession 
against the Reverened Father, soldiers, and neophytes. 
Having delivered himself he inquired what they wanted. On 
the corporal's replying that, he had been sent to conduct him 
to the guard-house, Galbraith seized a sledge, and swaying 
it above his head rushed upon the soldiers, who, intimidated 
at the gigantic size of the blacksmith, wdiose broad and deep 
chest was swelling with infuriated passion, horror-stricken 
fled in dismay. With uplifted hammer he pursued them 
across the eourt of the mission, and to the guard-house in 



front of the mission, where the afrighted corporal and sol- 
diers arrived among their comrades, closely followed by the 
terriac mountaineer, who, alike fearless of Spanish soldiers 
as he had ever been of Indians, drove the trembling forces, 
a sergeant and twelve men, to their quarters, where they 
were imprisoned. He then hastily loaded with grape-shot 
a fine piece of artillery which stood in front of the quarters, 
and directing its mouth towards the mission, and gathering 
up the arms which the soldiers in the confusion had aband- 
oned he prepared to act as exigencies might require. The 
pries't, seeing the course events were taking, sent a mes- 
senger to open communications with the victor, who, from 
the sudden burst of passion and violent exercise, had dis- 
pelled the effects of the brandy, and with its removal his 
choler had subsided. 


The fur traders doubtless trapped the beaver on the San 
Joaquin river and its tributaries many years ago, that val- 
uable fur-bearing animal being abundant at the time. We 
have it from old settlers that these hunters were trapping in 
California when the country was first explored by the Mis- 
sionary Fathers. 

The trappers were extremely reticent with reference to the 
countries in which they followed their vocation. They gave 
no information that would lead to the settlement of their 
trapping grounds. They were jealous of those who were 
seelg information with respect to new countries suitabl 
for agriculture and stock-raising, and, generally, entertained 
a supreme contempt for them. It is, then, not a matter o 
surprise that the first settlers could get from the trappers 
nei her a written nor a verbal description of the San Joa 
quin river, its tributaries, or the .alley through which they 
flow. Had the Missionary Fathers known the extent and 
resources of the valley, the vast area of grazmg hinds afford- 
ing the finest quality of pasturage, the extensive tracts of 
agricultural lands which have since become so valuab 
they or their companions would have secured the peat* 
portion of it as grants from the Mexican government, as 
they did the greater portion of the coast valleys. 


The settlers on the coast and in the San Jose valley 
seldom or never ventured east of the summit of the Monte 
D ablo range of mountains. In very dry seasons when g ra 

at the time the immigration of Americans to this State 


The reason the stock were never sought after seems to 
have been the fear of Indians, a popular belief having ob- 
tained among the settlers of the Sau Jose, Sonoma and other 
coast valleys that there existed a powerful and warhke tribe 
of Indians in the San Joaquin valley. 


This fear was, in a great measure, groundless, for it is 
almost absolutely certain that there have not been, for many 
centuries, any considerable number of Indians near the San 
Joaquin river in this county. The few hostile tribes of this 
section lived almost exclusively in the Sierra Nevada monn- 
tains, seldom venturing on the plains. There are but few 
shell mounds or remains of their temescals, or hot houses on 
the San Joaquin river, the few remains met with being evi- 
dently of ancient date. On the Merced river the remains 
are somewhat more numerous, indicating the presence, at 
some time, of a greater number of Indians When the 
first white men settled on the Merced river, there were no 
ludians on the river, and Colonel Fremont saw none m this 
county when he passed up the San Joaquin river m 1844, as 
we shall see farther on. 

There is a tradition among the Indians now living in the 
mountains east of here, that many summers and winters ago 
there did exist a very large and powerful tribe of Indians on 
the San Joaquin river, and that there came a flood and de- 
stroyed almost the entire tribe. (The writer was told n 
1857 by a very old Indian, that he had seen the Merced 
riYei : half way up the bluffs.) They maintain that since 
that great calamity befell them the red men have persi t nUy 
refused to live on that river, seeming to have a superstitious 

d 7he°lrly settlers of the coast valleys were not only in 
error as to the numbers of the Indians, but hey greatly 
overrated their valor. They were armed with bows and 
Tows spears, and sometimes clubs-apoor defense again t 
the bullets of the white man. They, ••comparatively 

peal wore no clothes; they built no houses ; they did 
It cultLe the soil; they had no boats, nor di they bun 
to any considerable extent; they had no moral , no any 

eli7on worth calling such. The Missionary Fathers found 
a v him field whereon neither God nor devil was worshipped. 


This portion of the San Joaquin valley, until about the 
J 835 was almost a terra i^nita, having been.visited 
Che Uppers only, as already stated. At about that 
„ xpedition into this part of the valley was undertaken by 
Lieut nant Moraga, of the Mexican army then stationed a 
the Presidio of San Francisco, who, in command of a 



company of soldiers, pursued some Indians, who had been 
committing depredations upon tbe settlers in the coast 
valleys, into the valley of the Sun Joaquin. 


This expedition was undertaken in June. Lieutenant 
Moraga and his companions crossed the San Joaquin near 
the mouth of the Tuolumne river, and traveled thence in a 
southeasterly direction to the Merced river, a distance of 
about forty miles, the whole of which had to be accom- 
plished without water. The weather being very hot, it is no 
wonder they called the river, in whose limpid waters they 
slaked their burning thirst and laved their throbbing tem- 
ples, El Rio de la Merced, the river of Mercy. 


After resting a few days, the Mexicans under Moraga con- 
tinued their journey in a southeasterly direction until they 
arrived at a small stream, along the banks of which they 
found myriads of beautifully variegated butterflies, which, 
iu the Spanish tongue, are called las mariposas; hence 
Moraga named the creek El Arroyo de Las Mariposas, which 
name it has borne ever since. 

The Mexicans are noted for giving beautiful and appro- 
priate names to their towns, ranchos, rivers, mountains and 
other natural objects, and they seem to be actuated by a 
grateful feeling or a religious sentiment, sometimes having 
iu view the beauties of nature, as in the case of Las Mari- 
posas; at others, being moved by a profound feeling of 
gratitude to God for what they acknowledged as a "gift," 
or " mercy," as in the case of La Merced. 


On the 27th day of August, 1841, Francisco Soberaues 
petitioned the then Governor of California. Juan B. Alva- 
rado, for a grant of eleven square leagues of land, to be 
known as the Sanjon de Santa Rita Rancho, and in the fol- 
lowing September the petition was granted. On the rude 
plot which accompanied the petition, the northern boundary 
of said rancho is designated as "El Arroyo de los Banos 
del Padre Arroya," the creek of the baths of the Father 
Arroyo. But when or by whom this creek was named, we 
have been unable to ascertain. Other grants, El Rancho cle 
San Louis Gonzaga and El Rancho Orestimba, were made 
at about the same time, but none of these grants were per- 
manently occupied until several years afterwards. It is 
probable that after Moraga's return, he made such a report 
of the country as induced Soberanes and others to visit the 
great valley, select ranchos and name the streams and 


In the year 1843, May 29th, Colonel John C. Fremont 

started from the little town of Kansas, Mo., on his cele- 
brated exploring expedition across the continent to the 
Pacific ocean. On the 4th day of November ho reached 
Fort Vancouver on I he Columbia river, and on the Gth day 
of March, 1844, he arrived at Sutter's Fort in a destitute 
condition, having endured severe hardships in crossing the 
Sierra Nevada mountains. 

We make ihe following extract from Fremont's journal 
from the time he left the Sierras and entered the valley until 
his departure at the southern end, as it gives a very valuable 
account of the situation at that time, March 6, 1844:: 

"We continued on our road through the same surpass- 
ingly beautiful country, entirely uuequaled for the pastur- 
age of stock by anything we had ever seen. Our horses 
had now become so strong that they were able to carry us, 
and we traveled rapidly — over four miles an hour; four of 
us riding every alternate hour. Every few hundred yards 
we came upon a little band of deer; but we were too eager 
to reach the settlement, which we momentarily expected to 
discover, to halt for any other than a passing shot. In a 
''ew hours we reached a large fork, the northern branch of 
the river, and equal in size to that which we had descended. 
Together they formed a beautiful stream, 60 to 100 yards 
wide, which at first, ignorant of the nature of the country 
through which that river ran, wu took to be the Sacramento. 

iC We continued down the right bank of the river, 
traveling for a while over a wooded upland, where we had 
the delight to discover tracks of cattle. To the southwest 
was visible a black column of smoke, which we had fre- 
quently noticed in descending, arising from the fires we had 
seen from the top of the Sierra. From the upland we 
descended into broad groves on the river, consisting of the 
evergreen, and a new species of a white-oak, with a large 
tufted top, and three to six feet in diameter. Among these 
was no brushwood; and the grassy surface gave to it the ap- 
pearance of parks in an old-settled country. Following the 
tracks of the horses and cattle, iu search of people, we dis- 
covered a small village of Indian's. Some of these had on 
shirts of civilized manufacture, but were otherwise naked, 
and we could understand nothing from them; they appeared 
entirely astonished at seeing us. 


"We made an acorn meal at noon, and hurried ou ; the 
valley being gay with flowers, and some of the banks being 
absolutely golden with the Californian poppy, (eschescltoltma 
crocea.) Here the grass was smooth ami green, and the 
groves very open; the large oaks throwing a broad shade 
among sunny spots. 

''Shortly afterwards we gave a shout at the appearance, on 
a little bluff, of a neatly-built adobe house, with glass win- 
dows. We rode up, but, to our disappointment, found only 
Indians. There was no appearance of cultivation, and wo 



could see do cattle; and we supposed the place had been 
abandoned. We now pressed on more eagerly Hum even 
the river swept ronnd a large bend to the right; the lulls 
lowered down entirely; and, gradually entering abroad jal- 
toy we came unexpectedly iutoa large Indian milage, where 
the people looked clean, and wore cotton shirts and various 
other articles of dress. They immediately crowded around 
us and we had the inexpressible delight to find one who 
spoke- a little indifferent Spanish, but who at first con- 
founded us by saying there were no whites in the country ; 
but just then a well-dressed Indian came up, and made In 
• alutations in very well-spoken Span!,, In answer to o™ 
inquiries, he informed ns that we were upon the ft. & to 
2— (tae river of the Americans,) and tha turned 
the Sacramento river about ten miles below. H«« did 
lame sound more sweetly! We felt ourselves among on 
Zrymen; for the name of A^n j- *£*-£ 
parts s applied to the citizens of the United States So 

in the serv ce of Capt. Sntter, and the people of his 
,n the servi t ur evident satisfaction made him 

ranchena work tor him. Uui eviue n-ttarwas 

communicative; and he went on to say ^ tC ^™ £ 
a very rich man, and always glad to see his countiy people 
We asted for his house. He answered, that it was just over 
We askeu wait ft mome nt, 

the hill before us; and ofleied, it w 
to take his horse and conduct us to it. Veieadiy 1 

this offer . 


-In a short distance we came in sight of the fort; and 
on the way the house of a settler on the opposite 

P 77 Mr Sndl)we forded the river; and in a few 
side, (a Mi. Sinclair, ^ by 0apt 

mil es were met, a^sh ^ - • ^ ^ corfial 

Sutter himself. He gave us s re3 idence-and 
reception-conducted us imrnedia ety o * 

under his hospitable roof we had ni iate . 

a »d refreshment. ^™*^££^ UBO tion 

"The next day, Mar* 8* , w J^,^ ; and 

of the two rivers, the Saciame , £ tlle 

toS £ °t ^Zrrcrrrnt'oerrthe camp ; and, 
Sacramento. It was a conv i necessary 

among other things, was within reach of tbe J 

to make the P—^^ ^ne r distant now 
long journey home, fiom«hicli fte Mles o£ 

than we werefour months b toe whom ^^ ^ 
the Columbia we so cheerfully took up 
of march. 


foom the Mexican Government. He had, at first, some 
trouble with the Indians ; but, by the occasional exercise of 
well-timed authority, he has succeeded in converting ; hem 
into a peaceable aud industrious people. The ditches 
around his extensive wheat-fields ; the making o the sun- 
dried bricks, of which his fort is constructed ; the plough- 
ing harrowing, and other agricultural operates, are 
entirely the work of these Indians, for which they receive a 
very moderate compensation-principally in shirts, blankets 
and other articles of clothing. In the same manner on ap- 
pHcation to the chief of a village, he readily obtains as 
many boys and girls as he has any use for There we e at 
this time a number of girls at the fort, in training fa a 
future woolen factory; but they were now a 1 busd en- 
ga6 ed in constantly watering the gardens, which the un 
favorable dryness of the season rendered necessa y. Th. 
occasional dryness of some seasons, I understood to be the 
on omplai t of the settlers in this fertile valley, as it 
olle! renders the crops uncertain. Mr. SuHer^ was 
abont making arrangements to irrigate his lands by means 
of the Rio de los Americanos. He had this year sown nd 
altogether by Indian labor, three hundred/^ of wheat. 


-The fort is a quadrangular Me structure, mounting 
twelve pieces of artillery (two of thembrass) and 
7a fitting a garrison of a thousand men ; this, atpresen , 

■ ta ni forty Indians in uniform -one of whom was 
r a ; found oli ty . - gate. As might natural!^ 

Lfl the pieces are not in Yery good order. Hie 
rrttL P ,oyofCapt.Su^r ri can = 

^ 1 1 IZ ieLsmith and other workshops ; the dwelmg- 
rr^,and other buildings, 

It is Dim p r Americanos, which 

creek communicating with tne itio ae 

— - s ^:rr;:r:tryarb^, 

channel, and its banks contauously ^t nibeied^ I 

r; es t:rs~ite!rs:.--other : 

Fort Vancouver for a cargo of good, 




has estabH s bedhi m sel7ou Feather river, and is associated 
with Capt. Sutter in agricultural pursuits. 

"An impetus was given to the active little population bj 
our arrival, as we were in want of everything. Mule*, 
horses and cattle, were to be collected; the horse-rail was 
at work day and night, to make sufficient flour; the black- 
smith's shop was put in requisition for horseshoe, 
and bridle-bits; and pack-saddles, ropes and bridles, 
and all the other little equipments of the camp, were again 

to be provided. 

"The delay thus occasioned was one of repose and en- 
joyment, which our situation required, and, anxious as we 
were to resume our homeward journey, was regretted by no 
one. In the meantime, I had the pleasure to meet with Mr. 
Chiles, who was residing at a farm on the other aide of the 
river Sacramento, while engaged in the selection of a place 
for a settlement, for which he had received the necessary 
grant of land from the Mexican government. 

"On the 22d we made a preparatory move, and encamped 
near the settlement of Mr. Sinclair, on the left bank of the 
Kio de los Americanos. I had discharged five of the party; 
Neal the blacksmith, (an excellent workman, and an un- 
married man, who had done his duty faithfully, and had 
been of very great service to me,) desired to remain, as 
strong inducements were offered here to mechanics. 

"Although at considerable inconvenience to myself, his 
good conduct induced me to comply with his request; and I 
obtained for him from Oapt. Sutter, a present compensation 
of two dollars and a half per diem, with a promise that it 
should be increased to five, if he proved as good a workman 
as had been represented. He was more particularly an ag- 
ricultural blacksmith. The other men were discharged with 
their own consent. 


"March 24.— We resumed our journey with an ample 
stock of provisions and a large cavalcade of animals, con- 
sisting of 130 horses and mules, and about 30 head of cattle, 
five of which were milch-cows. Mr. Sutter furnished us also 
with an Indian boy who had been trained as a vaquero, and 
who would be serviceable in managing our cavalcade, great 
part of which were nearly as wild as buffalo, and who was, 
besides, very anxious to go along with us. Our direct 
course home was east, but the Sierra would force us south, 
about 500 miles of traveling, to a pass at the head of the 
San Joaquin river. This pass, reported to be good, was 
discovered by Mr. Joseph "Walker, of whom 1 have already 
spoken, and whose name it might therefore appropriately 
bear. To reach it, our course lay along the valley of the 
San Joaquin— the river on our right, and the lofty wall of 
the impassable Sierra on the left. 

11 Taking leave of Mr. Sutter, who, with several gentlemen, 
accompanied us a few miles on our way, we traveled about 

18 miles, and encamped on the Rio de l-s Co—,* stream 
receiving its name from the Indians who live in its valley. 
Our road was through a level country, admirably suited to 
cultivation, and covered with groves of oak trees, principally 
the evergreen-oak, and a large oak already mentioned, m 
form like those of the white oak. The weather, which here, 
at this season, can easily be changed from the summer heat 
of the valley to the frosty mornings and bright days nearer 
the mountains, continued delightful for travelers, but un- 
favorable to the agriculturists, whose crops of wheat began to 
wear a yellow tinge from want of rain. [Who were these 
settlers raising wheat?— Ed.J 

"25th -We traveled for 28 miles over the same delight- 
ful country as yesterday, and halted in a beautiful bottom 
at the lord of the Mio de los Mutelemnes, receiving its name 
from another Indian tribe living on the river. The bottoms 
on the stream are broad, rich, and extremely fertile, and 
the uplands are shaded with oak groves. A showy Zupinif* 
of extraordinary beauty, growing four to five feet in height, 
and covered with spikes in bloom, adorned the banks of the 
river, and filled the air with a light and grateful perfume. 

"On the 26th we halted at the Arroyo de las Calaveras 
(Skull creek), a tributary to the San Joaqnin-the previous 
two streams entering the bay between the San Joaquin and 
Sacramento rivers. This place is beautiful, with open 
groves of oak, and a grassy sward beneath, with many plants 
in bloom, some varieties of which seem to love the shade of 
trees, and grow there in close small fields. Near the river, 
and replacing the grass, are great quantities of ammole 
(soap plant), the leaves of which are used in California for 
making, among other things, mats for saddle-cloths. A 
vine with a small white flower (mehthrla?,) called here la 
yerba buena, and which, from its abundance, gives name to 
an island and town in the bay, was to-day very frequent on 
our road— sometimes running on the ground or climbing 
the trees. 

" 27th.— To-day we traveled steadily aud rapidly up the 
valley, for, with our wild animals, any other gait was im- 
possible, and* making about five miles an hour. During 
the earlier part of the day, our ride had been over a very 
level . prairie, or rather a succession of long stretches of 
prairie, separated by and groves of oak timber, growing 
along dry gullies, which are filled with water in seasons of 
rain ; and, perhaps, also, by the melting snows. Over much 
of this extent the vegetation was sparse, the surface showing 
plainly the action of water, which, in the season of flood, the 
Joaquin spreads over the valley. 


"About one o'clock we came again among innumerable 
flowers; and a few miles further, fields of the beautiful blue- 
flowering lupitne, which seems to love the neighborhood of 
water, indicated that we were approaching a stream. r\e 



here found this beautiful shrub in thickets, some of hem 
b ei„ g 12 feet in height. Occasionally three or our plants 
wer i clustered together, forming a grand bouquet, about 90 
Lt in circumference, and 10 feet high; the whole summit 
rove.ed with spikes of flowers, the perfume of which 1S ve,y 
sweet and grateful. A lover of natural beauty can imagine 
wth what Pleasure we rode among these flowering groves, 
7hi„h filled the air with a light and delicate ragrance 
We continued our road for about half a mile interspersed 
lough an open grove of live oaks, which, m form, were 
most symmetrical and beautiful we had yet seen >n 
h s "ouutrj. The end of their branches rested on the 
Tforniing somewhat more than a half sphere of 
^U a" ular figure, with leaves apparently smaller 

"California pop py, of a rich orange color, was 
numerous to-day. Elk and several bands of antelope made 

^ TZZ now one continued enjoyment; and it was 

warm, green spring iu T?mpv«ine from the 

where lately we ^^^*2S^ *- 
timbe , - -m-udd y u P on^ ^ ^ ^ 

IrS d^IwoL by the mountain snows; its general 

^animals to relieve those previo^y^ 

"™" ^^tr^t eninches high. This 
„*« —«» - J^ » he ws gat bering on the 

i. the plant which we ^ad seen ^ ^ ^ ^ ;t 

Bio de los Americanos. By ire tQ ^ 

ighif l .esteemed^f— ^'b^s tot sandy, it 
i:^::isSblee X tcnt the want of grass. 


.. D es,rous, as far as possible, -J^^J 

■ f™ ilie San Joaquin nvei, r 
our examination the San i ^ ^^ en „ 

morning down the Stanislaus for 1 Aftorfa now- 

^-^«/^2£b» - fiuding 

iogii for ^ tmieS / U ^ h h s 6 ii ; Joaquin, encamped in a 
ourselves in the vicinity o the Sa ^ ^ ^ „, 

handsome oak grove, and, seve ^ ^ ^.^ 

ferried over our baggage in their s ■ ^ ^ 

boy. who probably had not much £> ^ 

we wore rapidly pnttmg between 11 

•■Thirteen head of cattle took a sudden fright, while we 
were driving them across the river, and gallopec 1 oft. I - 
mained a day in the endeavor to recover them but, folding 
they had taken the trail back to the fort, let them go wrth 
out further effort. Here wc had several days oi warm and 
pleasant rain, which doubtless saved the crops belov. 

life- and now it is crowded with bands of elk and wim 
tl and along the rivers are !"*-«£££ 


are generally found on the o her judo .^^ 

for that reason, I avoided crossing .^.^ 

below, tot«tatar«'JSJ, and tll e danger of 
found on the western bank o the uv , o{ 

losing our animals among them togeth. ^ 

^SfZr^^^totravelnp the east- 
era bank. 


.91 The daywas occupied in building a boat, and 

»2d.— The day was t encamped on 

„.„. i-nafratre across tue mei, "'""■ 
fevrymg oui baggage ^ 

t be bank. A *» « J f^ 1/pretty birds in 
looking after salmon; and there wer { el . able 

- Hmbel ; f b If* Sir ^ the t— of 
in the neighborhood. T* e were floc ksnear the 

t be latter bird at Helvetia, scattered LabouUn 

wheat-fields - -^^S* — 
would ride by within 30 yards, w ^ 

„ 3d ._To-day we touched seveal »es ^ 

^ l,, tSr!SM the Missouri 
rent, and apparently ^P- ancl it9 

to color, with occasional pomts « , ^ ^ 

banks, where steep, were a kind of «d, J ^^ 
wklth geared to be about eigh yai^ ^ 

are frequent ponds, where on PP »° aloDg the 



seen during the day, with antelope and wild horses. The 
low country and the Umber rendered it difficult to keep the 
main line of the river; and this evening we encamped on a 
tributary stream * about five miles from its mouth. 


-On the prairie bordering the San Joaquin bottoms, there 
occurred during the day but little grass, and in its place was 
a sparse and dwarf growth of plants; the soil being sandy, 
with small bare places and hillocks, reminded me much ot 
the Platte bottoms; but, on approaching the timber, we 
found a more luxuriant vegetation, and at our camp was an 
abundance of grass and pea-vines. 

"The foliage of the oak is getting darker; and every 
thing, except that the weather is a little cool, shows that 
spring is rapidly advancing; and to-day we had quite a sum- 
mer rain. 

«4th.-Coininenced to rain at daylight, but cleared ott 
brightly at sunrise. We ferried the river without any 
difficulty, and continued up the San Joaquin. Elk were 
running in bands over the prairie and in the skirt of the 
timber. We reached the river at the mouth of a large 
slough, which we were unable to ford, and made a circuit of 
several miles around. Here the country appears very flat; 
oak-trees have entirely disappeared, and are replaced by a 
large willow, nearly equal to it in size. The river is about 
a hundred yards in breadth, branching into sloughs, and 
interspersed with islands. At this time it appears suffi- 
ciently deep for a small steamer, but its navigation would be 
broken by shallows at low water. Bearing in towards the 
river, we were again forced off by another slough; and pass- 
ing around, steered towards a clump of trees on the river, 
and finding there good grass, encamped. The prairies along 
the left bank are alive with immense droves of wild horses; 
and they had been seen during the day at every opening 
through the woods which afforded us a view across the river. 
Latitude, by observation, 37° 08' 00"; longitude 120° 45' 


"5th.— During the earlier part of the day's ride, the 
country presented a lacustrine appearance; the river was 
deep, and nearly on a level with the surrounding country; 
its banks raised like a levee, and friuged with willows. 
Over tbe bordering plain were interspersed spots of prairie 
among fields of tide (bulrushes), which in this country are 
called tularcs, and little ponds. On the opposite side, a line 
of timber was visible which, according to information, 
points out the course of the slough, which at times of high 
water connects with the San Joaquin river— a large body of 

wa ter in the upper part of the valley, called the Tule lake . 
The river and all its sloughs are very full, and ,t is probab e 
that the lake is now discharging. Here elk were frequently 
started, and one was shot out of a band which ran around 
us On our left, the Sierra maintains its snowy height, and 
masses of snow appear to descend very low towards the 
plains; probably the late rains in the valley were snow on 
the mountains. We traveled 37 miles, and encamped on 
the river. Longitude of the camp, 120° 28' 34", and lati- 
tude, 36° 49' 12". , 

"6th -After having traveled fifteen miles along the river, 
we made an early halt, under the shade of sycamore-trees. 
Here we found the San Joaquin coming down from the 
Sierra with a westerly course, and checking our way, as all 
its tributaries had previously done. We had expected to 
raft the river; but found a good ford, and encamped on the 
opposite bank, where droves of wild horses were raising 
clouds of dust on the prairie. Columns of smoke were visi- 
ble in the direction of the Tule lakes to the southward- 
probably kindled in the tulares by the Indians, as signals 
that there were strangers in the valley." 

"-They left tho Tuolumne (Merced, bb be calls it) on the moraine of the Mil of April 
and traveled >.p the San Joaquin, "Mtlug olon G the edge of the timber pud at night they 
cauUd-on a largo tributary of the San Joaqnln." This is undoubtedly tho Merced. 
TL.-v rr.wi.ra about where Jns. J. Stevinflon now lives. It will be noticed that no mention 
is made of tm-auniering Indian* while passing through °ur «K»»*X- The longitude or (lie 
enoampmontnuu ■■ largo tributary of the Ban Joaquin" (Merced, river) i a given uUOde- 
grees 58 minutes and 03 seconds W. 


Captain C M. Weber, the founder of Stockton, was one 
of the first to locate permanently in the valley, although he 
had been preceded by Dr. John Marsh, whose settlement 
and occupation was described on page 35. 

Weber was induced to come by the glowing accounts 
given by Dr. Marsh in his published letters heretofore no- 
ticed. This was in 1841, before tbe trip just mentioned of 

In August, 1844, David Kelsey, with his wife and two 
children, a boy and a girl, settled at French Camp, and 
built a tale-house. Mr. Oruluae, who was stopping at the 
Cosumnes river, had offered to give Mr. Kelsey a mile 
square of land if he would stop at that place, and live one 
year; he turned over to him the "swivel" that Sutter had 
given him. Every night Mr. Kelsey threw this piece of 
ordnance "into battery," and fired an evening gun; which 
he did to frighten the Indians, on the same principle that a 
boy sometimes whistles as he is going through the woods 
after dark. At that time there was only one other house in 
the county, also constructed of tule, occupied by Thomas 
Lindsay, at Stockton, 

Mr. Kelsey remained for several mouths at that place, 
and after his family had beeu obliged to live for two months 
on boiled wheat, meat, milk, and mint tea, gathered along 
the banks of the creek, he buried tho swivel and removed 
temporarily to San Jose, where he first saw Captain Weber. 
Numerous others began to locate in the next few years. 
The discovery of gold in- 1848 brought a grand rush of peo- 
ple into the valley on their way to the mines. No one had 
the slightest idea of the San Joaquin valley ever beiug, as it 



„,,„ is, a preeminently agricultural country. The rolling 
prairies and grassy meadows were overrun with cattle and 
stock-thousands of head. No idea of any other industry 
but grazing was then thought of in the vast valley, except 
in a limited way along the rivers by a few who were be- 
lievers in its agricultural resources. 


There began to settle in this vast valley in 1848-9, that 
intrepid baud of pioneers who had scaled the Sierras, or 
■■sailed around the horn." At length the promised laud was 
„ained. The valleys were an interminable grainfield, mile 
upon mile, and acre after acre, wild oats grew in marvelous 
profusion, in many places toa prodigious height-one great, 
glorious green of wild waving corn-high over head o the 
Lhrer on foot, and shoulder high with the equestrian, 
J d flowers of every prismodic shade charmed the eye, 
while they vied with each other in the gorgeousness ot heir 
colors, and blended into dazzling splendor. One breath of 
Id, and the wide emerald expanse rippled itself into 
lie while with a heavier breeze came a swell whose robi- 
ng waves beat against the mountain sides, and being 
1„1 back were lost in the far-away horizon; shadow pur- 
^ hlw ; along, merry chase. The air was fllled with 
b hum of bees, the chirrup of birds and an — ermg 
fragrance from the various plants weighted the an. The 
S overrun as they were with a dense mass of tangled 
I were hard to penetrate, while in some nor ions the 
deep dark gloom of the forest trees lent rehet to he eye. 
The almost boundless range was intersected troughou 

r-nt I- ^^rline, and render, dange, 

be valleys by the bands of untamed cattle, sprung 

£rom the stock introduced by the mission fathers . Th se 

dawn they repaired to the high g 

r d r \t *TZ n^hl oTJai. and other birds, 

soil in the county roamed J*^^ greased, 

S beep; hut in the °°™^*™'^Js*n Joaquin rivers 

the country watered by tbe Melce The aweUerB 

was found to be most fertile and ■&**£» &g .^ 

of these valleys engaged m tilling the so 

of the hilly parts of the Coast J"^ 8 ^ 

which are better adapted to grazing, becam 

herds of cattle and sheep. 

Mariposa County. 

A history of Merced county could not well be given 
without some review of the incidents and conditions of the 
mother county, Mariposa, of which the present territory of 
Merced formed a part in the pioneer days of California. 

The broad plains and beautiful rivers of the section then 
embraced in Mariposa county, had attracted many Mexican 
rancheros, who, with their fatted herds, enjoyed the grea est 
freedom; and who exhibited in person a royal hospitality 
toward the wayfarer, often furnishing guides and horses at 
the command of a stranger, for many days' journey, with 
the only injunction: ■■ Cuaudo vuelva no dye de vemer a 
venue." Later the mining interest predominated, only for a 
brief period, however, as the husbandman's plow no sooner 
turned the soil than a bountiful yield gladdened the hearts 
of the many households whose habitations began to deck he 
plains, and in a few years hamlets and villages took the 
place of lowing lierds. 


When the State was divided into counties, Mariposa in- 
cluded all the territory south of the divide of the Tuolumne 
and Merced rivers, within the San Joaquin valley proper. 
In fact, its boundaries were rather undefined. 


To-day, Mariposa is perhaps principally remarkable as 
containing the Yosemite valley, which has been so fully de- 
scribed and illustrated that nothing new can be said Bu 
"devote several pages elsewhere to it, and the big trees of 
the county. 


Its topographical peculiarities strongly resemble those of 

B1 Dorado! Amador and Calaveras. With its eastern ex- 

Smites 1 ing in the high Sierras and its western portion 

mb ced u L San Joaquin valley, it is at once a mining 

and agricultural district. Its forests, too, are so extensive 

hat umber can be put down asits third important industry 

Tbe Merced river and the waters of the Mariposa both 

take their rise in this county, the first by tbe time ,t joins 

he sl Joaquin being quite an important stream. It has 

L source in the perpetual snow, and then flows over tower- 

l;; ecipices and through deep and precipitous canyon 

until it reaches the tamer and western boundary of the 

rr^r^erlanTT^-usuany fertile, 
especially where water can be had for irrigation. 




Had the Mariposa Land and Mining company, owners of 
the celebrated grant, turned their attention to building a 
canal from the South Fork of the Merced river, which has 
already been surveyed, for the purpose of introducing water 
into this section of the country for mining and irrigation 
purposes, instead of the useless expenditure of running 
great tunnels, sinking shafts, etc., they would now be an in- 
corporation of exceeding wealth; and Mariposa county 
to-day could unfurl her banner and exhibit to the world in 
letters of pure gold, inscribed around her emblem (Butterfly) 
the words, " Mariposa, the Banner County of California." 
Not considering at this time the value water would be for 
mining purposes, but for irrigation, simply, it is more than 
probable that the grape-growing business would become 
more noted than any other locality in the State for the fine 
quality of its wines. 

At an elevation of 1,000 to 1,500 feet above the sea-level, 
ft-uit attains an excellence of flavor that is unaccountable, 
unless it be from the dryness of the atmosphere and the 
abundance of sulphurets of iron that impregnate the soil 
throughout the mining region. 


The discovery of gold on Mariposa creek, on Merced 
river, and other places, first brought settlers into this section 
of the county, first passing over the Merced plains. Among 
the first settlers w r as one James D. Savage, who, in 1848-9, 
located in the mountains near the mouth of the South Fork 
of the Merced river, some 15 miles below the Tosemite 
valley. At this point, engaged in gold mining, he employed 
a party of native Indians. 

James D. Savage had two stores, or trading-posts, nearly 
in the centre of the affected tribes; the one on Little Mari- 
posa creek, about twenty miles south of the town of Mari- 
posa, and near the old stone fort; and the other on Fresno 
river, about two miles above where John Hunt's store was. 
Around these stores those Indians who were the most 
friendly, used to congregate, and from whom, and his two 
Indian wives, Eekino and Homut, Savage ascertained the 
state of thought and of feeling among them . 

Under the head of Indians, on page 191, we have given 
an account of the attack of the Indians, and burning of 
his store. While in -pursuit of the hostile Indians Yosemite 
valley was first discovered . 

At this establishment Savage soon built up a prosperous 
business. He exchanged his goods at enormous profits for 
the gold obtained by the Indians. The white miners also 
submitted to his demands, rather than travel to Mariposa 


The valleys and ravines soon began to be filled with 
miners from all parts of the world. Those early days of '49 
and '50 in Mariposa county give wide scope in variety. 
Upon the walls of the Pioneer Hall in Stockton hangs a relic 
that is quite interesting. It is about ten inches in diameter 
and is made of babbit-metal. On the adverse side is a pro- 
file of a man who in early days edited the Mariposa Gazette, 
and it is said to be an excellent likeness. On the reverse is 
an inscription saying that the medallion is from the wives 
and mothers of Mariposa, who presented it to the illus- 
trious editor for his regard for them (manifested, evidently, 
through his paper). The date 1850 accompanies the in- 
scription. The name of the editor we have, not ascertained; 
but as he has long since died, it would, perhaps, be of little 
interest to the people to know it. An editor's name, even 
when he is living, is not so important in the eyes of the 
people as to make much concern as to his identity after 
death, yet his influence will live after him. 


It appears that when the Mariposa Gazette was started, 
there was not a white woman in the town. In a short time 
several white families moved in, and the editor at once began 
to complain about the crying of the children, and the restraint 
that men felt who had been absolutely free for nearly two years, 
and otherwise to make it appear that the coming of the white 
woman was a circumstance to be deplored. One day the 
women went into his office, when he was across the street in 
a saloon, and filled their aprons with type, which they gave 
to an artist in the camp, who made the medallion out of it. 

J. D. Peters relates, in au interesting manner, the fol- 
lowing: "I'll never forget the time the first woman came 
into camp. The miners heard that she was coming, and 
they all quit work and marched four miles down the road to 
meet her. Several large arches were erected over the road, 
and a band of music led the march into town. The town 
. was alive with miners when we got there, who came in from 
the hills to get a glimpse of the woman and participate in 
the celebration." The first woman who arrived started at 
once into the pastry business, and sold pies for S5.00 apiece. 
Sometimes the miners complained of the pies, but the 
woman who made them would say if they didn't like them 
they needn't buy any, as she was not particular whether she 
sold pies for $5.00 apiece anyway. Those were days when 
every one felt as independent as a lord. 


One of the most exciting stories of early days, is also re- 
lated by Mr. Peters. Said he: "The report came down 
the canyon that some one, up towards the head waters, had 





found a nugget weighing eleven pounds. The miners all 
wanted to get a look at so monstrous a piece of go Id and 
during the day hundreds of miners wandered m that direc- 
tion to see the diggings that would produce such a wonder. 
I wa ,Ued eleven miles, and when I got there it w-as a baby 
firing eleven pounds that was on exhibition They had 

egnlar hours for exhibiting the little one, and miners would 
fvel many miles to see it, knowing before they started 

Z I was merely a baby, and not a nugget that had. been 



La Grange, called in early days 'Trench Bar," is amin- 
J nd agricultural town, situated in the eastern part ot the 
Z near the Tuolnmne, Mariposa and Merced county 
V° U Yhehstryof "Pouch Bar" dates back into the 
el d' r "when the gold element ran high, extend- 
" le to the Old World. Judging from the great num- 
of Frenchmen who settled here in those times, it would 
r thai Xlrdy sons of sunny France had taken te 
gold lever very bad; they came iu great numb rs to 
mines and generally formed settlements to themselves. 
In early days La Grange was a lively mining camp. I 
In early ciay T^vhfs Ferry of being situated 

hadt he ■*-^j^2 , 1Bta * M a -^ 

diret J f Ltrvl Mariposa, Hornitos and the Tuolumne 
:::° f ir»— several thousand inhabitants, and was 

TVip =;ite upon which tne town x^ 

mesne up Shortly after some fifty 

a ranch by Elam Dye, » 1 W. Sh<n Y ^ ^ 

Fre nchmenlocate onab of t,e (^ ^ ^ 

site of the present town) and c ^ 

gol d. No one dreame lot* r J „ 7 ^ WgM 

for, £ tbe-B^ ^ ^ ^ ^ 

to light the existence of »™ P • senfc 

satisfied themselves that the *OT *^** ' 

a camp, to which the name of *£^ B ; , The 

retained until the name of L Q a g „ table . la nd 

present town is located on the second 

from the river. exoit ement at La Grange in 

There was a great mining were 

and extending into the surroundrng hills. 

The Alcades, who administered the local laws, had unlim- 
ited powers and jurisdiction. Mike Tubbs figured in the 
mining section as Alcade. He was an *^***£* 
his actions will serve to show how law was then adnnu- 
istered in the mines. 


Mike Tubbs was a severe Alcade. He had been .boat- 
swain's mate in the royal navy, and was expertwith the lash 
which was his favorite mode of punishment He would £ 
the case, pronounce the judgment, and with his own pow- 
erful hand inflict the penalty. Two dozen lashes, w * 
tough nata, doubled so as to make two cute with one stroke 
was his lightest dose. To a thief who had robbed ^ tent o 
a blanket, he administered one hundred lashes. Fifty were 
g ive on morning and the remaining fifty the next, a er 
whichhe gave the half-dead wretch the alternative of instant 
p- re or the infliclion of another fifty the following day 
if caught in camp. He abandoned his claim, took only his 

cut the other with a knife. 


Th e Spanish mining code was the first laws to govern the 

early miners iu their camps and operates. ^ 

Col. Taylor, of Stevenson's Begimen^ ^ 

wasSub-Perfect of -he San Joa, urn to n ^ 

posed the whole territory known as the 


The trial was brief and the sentence prompt. Itwas, that 
llae tnai w» earg C1 . 0ppe d 

be should receive »«^££»d the larger portion 

and his hair cut off. Mike adm 

of the lashes himself and then called upon 7^ 

WS r ff ' t0 ^^riowstr: the miserable vic- 

f. "rt:d and strings. Yet he barely winced 
tim s back into siue whimper or moan 

01 . writhed under the torture, and no a « ^ 

t i m Thp florins over, .uootui 5 » 

escaped him. JH» *ofo B ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ 

sawbones of the camp operating upon 

afterwards for ^^^S^Z - ^ 
aSpaD tj:r Tle^Ihealmostsawed off ,uite close 
to crop the ears, i fl . q Mg „ msh . u . 

t0h i 3h eadwithapau o£ « ^ ^ ^ ^ 

me nt" case, and Tubbs toldh ^ ^^ ^ 

close, wxth a knife The Inc the hair . cut tii,g. 

tie same heroic stoicism^ Th en ^^ ^ 

^e shears were ^- ^ fte ^ tbe 

first clip was made. But ^ rf the lis t- 

— — «* ^^rt had indeed pierced the 
Xed^nr^ appalled the Doctor that he 



was unable to resume the operation, and a volunteer, who 
said he had often tried his hand on sheep, was at once ap- 
pointed to the service. 


He found it a most difficult task. At every motion of the 
shears toward him the Indian twisted and squirmed to break 
loose from Mike's strong lashings, which bound his arms 
and feet and body, and he could not break loose. His 
neck and head were free to move, however, and these he 
jerked and dodged about in such a wild manner that several 
times the points of the shears came in contact with his face 
and sorely lacerated the flesh. And at every clip, from first 
to last, as the hair fell from his ugly shock, he howled and 
shrieked as only an Indian can make his agony expressive 
in sounds. Upon being cut loose from his bonds he ran 
from the spot up tlv creek toward the hills with all the 
energy of a madman, and although some in the camp feared 
that the outrageously maltreated savage would wreak his 
vengeance upon any unfortunate white man he should find 
in his power, or perpetrate the lex talionis upon persons be- 
longing in the gulch, there was no subsequent word or sign 
of him. 


Merced County Organized. 

Organization, First County-Seat, First Court, Court 
House, Officers, Juries,, Trials, Etc 

We must, however, leave these early and interesting 
scenes, and give a brief sketch of the principle features of 
Mariposa county, and then pass on to the formation of Mer- 
ced county. 

Mariposa village, the county-seat, lies 145 miles southeast 
of Sacramento, 185 miles easterly of San Francisco. 110 
miles easterly of Stockton, and 45 miles northeasterly, via 
stage road, from Merced. 

The town of Mariposa and its environs contains about ■ 
700 inhabitants, two churches., two schools, two hotels, 
stores, shops, stables, etc. The court house, jail and 
county poor house are also located here. The daily stage 
from Merced, with passengers, mail, etc., arrives every day. 
One newspaper, the Mariposa Gazette, is issued every 
Saturday, at this locality. 

Hornitos is an old mining town on the stage road leading 
to Merced, about twenty miles from Mariposa. 

The neighborhood of Hornitos is dotted with quite a 
number of ranches, farms and gardens, that raise a suffi- 
ciency of cattle, hogs, barley, hay, vegetables, etc., for home 
consumption. Goat-raising and improvements of the Cash- 
mere goat has become a prominent feature in this section. 

Coulterville is likewise a mining town, situated about 
twenty-five miles from Mariposa, on the Merced river. It 
contains about four or five hundred inhabitants, with one 
good hotel. There are quite a number of farms, gardens, 
ranches and vineyards, sufficient to supply the demand of a 
much greater population than at present reside there. 

The bill creating Merced county was passed by the Legis- 
lature of 1855. John Bigler, who was at that time Gov- 
ernor of the State, approved the same on the 19th day of 
April of that year. Lieutenant-Governor Samuel Purdy 
was at that time President of the Senate, and W. W. Stow, 
Speaker of the House. This county, which at that time 
constituted part of Mariposa county, was represented in the 
Senate by Major A. McNeill, and by E. Burke and Thos. 
Flournoy in the Assembly. 


By the provisions of the Bill, A. Stevenson, Wm. N. 
Neffl, Wm. J- Barfield, Chas. V. Sneliing, James McDer- 
mot, Samuel Lovejoy and Charles F. Bludworth were ap- 
pointed a Board of Commissioners, whose duty it was to 
designate precincts, appoint judges and clerks of election, 
canvass returns and grant certificates of election to those 
entitled to receive them. 


The Board held their first meeting at the ranch of James 
A. Neill and brother, and issued their proclamation for an 
election to take rjlace on the second Monday of May, 1855. 

At this election the following officers were chosen, to-wit: 
John W. Fitzhu'gh, County Judge; E. G. Eector, County 
Clerk; Charles F. Bludworth, Sheriff; Jack W. Smith, Dis- 
trict Attorney; Geo. W. Halstead, County Treasurer; Jas. 
"W. Kobertson, County Assessor; Erastus Kelsey, County 
Surveyor; Gordon H. Murry, "W. J. Barfield, and Samuel 
T>. Kelly, Board of Supervisors; Samuel H- P. Boss and J. 
A. Vance, Associate Justices. 


The question of locating the county-seat was also, by pro- 
visions of the Act, submitted to the vote of the people, and 
resulted in favor of the Ranch of Turner & Osborne on 
Mariposa creek, about eight miles distant from Mereed. It 
is owned at this time by E. T. Givens, the incidents of 
whose life are given elsewhere. 


The Court House, so-called, at, this time, was a one-story 
/ooden building, about 12 feet wide and 25 feet long, with 



a door at each end, and one on the east side. A rough and 
unfinished building . 


The first Court held in this county was the Court of Ses- 
sions, in June 1855, shortly after the county was organized. 
John W. Fitzhugh presided as Judge, and Samuel H.J?. 
Ross and J. A. Vance sitting as Associate Justices It was 
held at the spot designated by law, on the north branch ot 
Mariposa creek, on the ranch of Tamer & Osborne. 


The Court organised under a number o£ oak trees on the 
banks of the two branches of the creek above mentioned 
Z a -Judge's stand and Clerk's desk, a common dining 
Se was used. There were only two chairs on the ground 
and they were occupied by the Judge and Clerk. 1 or other 
at benches, boxes, kegs, etc., were brought into recju,- 
sition. There were two juries in attendance-Grand and 


A Urge oak tree standing on the bank of the south branch 
of the creek was used as a Grand Jury meeting. The Use 

sU s Iful shade down into the bed of the creek. He. 
retired t od B liber, rt: im^ tr - C 

— J Hor^ntillntiaOyards. 


perience of the Court and rts officers 

*. ]uries in those £££*"£». g Jty ones 

Probably they reasoned the only . Dresented before 

horse stealing and hog stealing- 


™ +1ir bed of the north 

^^^o^^^ZT:^ * trees, 
branch of the creek winch was ^ ^ 

When a ease was ^°f ° ^f J aict wa s rendered, in 
Court, as a rule, adjourned until ve 
order that the Sheriff might summon on the 


of the most windy places m that section of 

m „ch amusement was indulged in at the expense of the 
Clerk, who, being without desk or other repository, was com- 
piled to carry his papers in his hat and in his pockets At 
times' a sudden gust of wind would get the best of hm 
during a session of the Court, scattering indictments war- 
rants, summonses, subpoenas and other legal documents to 
the four winds. At such times all was confusion, and 
Judge, Jury, Clerk and every one else turned their attention 
to hunting and catching papers. 


This place never reached the proportions or dignity of a 
town, not even a uamewasever given to it, ^ouglvsev^L 
such as "Farefield," "Bar-field," "»,' and Jta 
zard-Eoost," were suggested, none was selected, and^ 
coming Fall found it minus a county-seat. The inaccessi 
b By byroad from any direction, lack of mad facilities 
comoined with other causes, rendered it necessary that he 
Jof justice should be removed to some more convenient 
p< nnt Consequently a petition for that purpose was mrcii- 
Zd and the question of removal submitted at the geneial 
election in September of that year. 


Our artist has endeavored to sketch this novel court scene 
Ascribed. We present Uto^ur^as^nm 

W progress of the county during ita e oUw «J y 

W hich in 1855, when the county ^ »ff» , 
SCT eral years thereafter, was «^j£ At t]mt iime 

thousand dollars. How marked the change ! 


fnl The County records, with ueoi„e 
successful. The L . J ^ mmmei to 

^°T of Sntlhn • For the first year or sixteen months, 
't^Zlypa^ of 1857 the Court House, which had 


been in course of construction for nearly a year was com- 
pleted and turned over by the contractors-James U. 
M.-Gahey and Charles S. Peck-to the Board of 
The cost of this building was thirteen thousand (*13,UUUj 
dollars-thirteen hundred dollars of which was raised by 
private subscription-the Supervisors not wishing to be too 
lavish with the people's money, were unwilling to pay from 
the public funds more tban the sum of eleven thousand and 
seven hundred ($11,700) dollars. 


The Banner, of April 14, 1866. says : . We notice that 
Messrs. Nick Breen and Charlie Saw have completed then- 
job of setting out the steps and building a porch in front of 
the Court House. It helps the looks of the building won- 
derfully. Would it not be a good move for the Board of 
Supervisors at their next meeting to have the whole building 
repainted and repaired, both inside and out. It certainly 
needs it very much. Gentlemen of the Board, consider 
this matter at your next meeting, and we think you will con- 
clude to have it done. The Court House is fast going to 
ruin; the eeiling inside is breaking loose, and the plastering 
is falling off; in fact, it requires repairs all over. 


Scarcely had the railroad reached the town of Merced, 
when the subject of the removal of the county-seat from 
Snelling was agitated, though no active steps were taken in 
that direction until October of 1872. The subject had been 
thoroughly canvassed, however, and it was believed by the 
citizens of Merced that at that time a majority of the peo- 
ple of the county favored a removal of the seat of Justice, 
accordingly a petition was prepared for circulation, asking 
the Board of Supervisors to order a special election to de- 
termine the question . Under the law such a petition way 
required to contain the names of at least one-third of the 
registered voters of the county voting at the last preceding 
regular election. In a short time the signatures were se- 
cured, and the petition was presented at the regular session 
of the Board in November. There being no alternative, the 
Board ordered a special election to submit the question to 
the voters on December 12th of the same year. Then work 
commenced in earnest. 


The Banner, located at Snelling, naturally championed 
the claims of that town, while Merced had an active parti- 
zan in the Tribune of that place .' It was a critical period 
for the young town of Merced. Should it fail to secure a 
majority of all the votes cast, the county-seat must remain 
at Snelling, and, under the law, no further attempt could be 
made within two years to deprive' that place of the honor. 

But if the question was an important one with the Mereed- 
ites it was a serious one with the Snelling people. 

Its young rival, by virtue of its railroad connexion, had 
already deprived Shelling of a large share of its business, 
an d now to deprive it of the county-seat threatened to alto- 
gether destroy its importance, and this was not to be 
thought of without a struggle, and the struggle was a heroic, 
though fruitless one. _ 

As has been noted, according to the provisions of the Act 
under which the election was called, to effect the removal it 
was necessary that a majority of all the votes east should be 
in favor of some certain place. It was not necessary that 
Snelling should have a majority, and this fact inspired its 

citizens with hope. 

To defeat the pretentions of Merced as a railroad town, 
the station of Livingstone, consisting of two or three houses, 
and situated some ten miles northward on the line of the S. 
P. B- B., was placed in the held as a candidate. This 
manoeuvre' was credited to the Snelling people, and was a 
shrewd move, as it not only had a tendency lo draw off a 
large number of votes that otherwise would naturally be cast 
for Merced, but by increasing the number of candidates 
rendered it more difficult for Merced to secure the coveted 


The campaign was a short but active and heated one. All 
the arts usually employed in such a canvass were resorted 
to, and the result was a surprise to the Mercedites them- 
selves. The election was held on December 12th, and on 
the 21st of that month the Board of Supervisors canvassed 
the vote, and announced the result as follows: 

Total number of votes cast - - ■ 983 

Number of votes cast for Livingstone 2o<-> 

" Spelling.. Wl 

Merced 56b— abd 

From this it will be seen that Merced had a clear and 

handsome majority. 


On the announcement of the result, the Supervisors made 
an order declaring the town of Merced the county-seat of 
Merced county, and invited sealed proposals for removing 
the books of record, court-room furniture, etc., to Merced, 
and but little opposition was made to the execution of the 

An injunction was issued by one of the Courts, but on 
review the injunction was dismissed, and on the 30th of 
December, 1872, the county officers arrived at Merced, and 
the removal was an accomplished fact. 


The county officers occupied at first, in Merced, the 
rooms over Olcise & Garibaldi's brick building, corner of 



Front and L streets, and afterward, until the new Court 
House was completed, the lower story of Washington Hall 
was used. 


In the session of the Legislature of 1873-4, a bill was 
passed authorizing the county to issue bonds to an amount 
not exceeding seventy-five thousand dollars, for the purpose 
of erecting a County Court House, in the town of Merced. 
The Supervisors advertised, in 1874, for bids for the sale of 
110 Court House bonds, of the denomination of $500 each. 
Messrs. Woods & Freeborn bid for the first lot at 
SL01 37£, and their bid was accepted. 


The Supervisors having advertised to receive proposals 
for constructing a Court House and Jail at Merced, opened 
the bids on April 2d, 1874, and found them as follows : 

_ T . n r\ .OOi.OOO UU 

J. C. Weir & Co 57 692 00 

D. Jordan.- 58,540 00 

Jas. H. Sullivan . 57 437 34 

Ellsworth & Washburn 55 970 00 

A. W.Burrell&Co Q5 000 00 

Ohilds&Co ■■'■■ 

The contract was awarded to A. W- Burrell & Co. 
A A Bennett was appointed Commissioner to superin- 
tend the construction of the Court House, at ,1 salary of five 
per cent, upon the total cost of the building. 

The Court House is a grand structure, and one of the 
m0 st substantial public buildings in the State. The main 
building is 60,95 feet, with two stories and a basement, the 
whole surmounted by a large dome. The style is Roman 


The corner stone was laid Jaly 7, 1874, by the Most 
Worthy Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of the 
State of California, the ceremonies be.Bg witnessed by 
toge concourseof people. A procession formed and marked 
7 1 n t TTnnse Park in the following order: Giand 

ZSZZZZS^* b~ *■* Irish n TTa 

B^volent Society, I. O. of O. F. and Free and Aecep « 
Masons. The excises were opened by music by^banc, 
followed by singing by a choir composed oiU s. D * 
Washington, Mrs. Law, Mrs, Oonley, Miss Hufcjjta 
Taek ett g and Messrs. Barrel, ^J^JSJ 
usual Masonic ceremonies, P. !>• >^Sb 

-rx *^n rtl i7Prl bv a concise and able levimv 

TSt^-^^SS Hon. , W. Bobertson. 

the chaptain^e P™—™ passed off pleasantly, 
to Masonic Hall. Hie w in i easU res of the occa- 

not an incident occurring to mar the pleasure 
sion. The day's ceremonies wound up wjjg^ 
the El Capitan Hotel, which was well attended 

were present from Stockton, Modesto and other points. In 
the casket deposited in the corner-stone was placed the fol- 

lowing articles : 

First-Copies of the law creating Merced county. 
Second-Copies of the law providing for the erection of a 
Court House for Merced county. 

Third-Copies of the Great Register of Merced county 
for the years 1S71 and 1872. 
Fourth— Court House bonds. 

Fifth-Statement of the total taxable property, and tax 
levied by Merced county each year since its organisation 

Sixth-Copies of the Merced ^^ S^^Zlnd 
ley Argm San Francisco Bulletin, Examiner, Call, 1 ost and 
Chronicle, and Mariposa Gazette. 

Seventh-A complete set of United States coins. 
Eighth— A pint of wheat and barley. 
Ninth-Statistical report of school matters. 


May 8 1875, the Court House was dedicated by appro- 
priate ceremonies. The meeting was called to order by J. 
K Means, Chairman of the Board. The Supervisors had 
appointed a committee of prominent citizens from all parts 
of the county to examine the building and report the 
result at the day of dedication. Samuel C Bates, 
Secretary of the Committee, read a report in which they 
say they » have thoroughly examined the building, m com- 
panv with the architect, and are proud to say hat the 
building is complete in all its details, and reflects much 
credit on the architect, A. A. Bennett, and the contractor, 
A V Burrell, and we, as taxpayers of Merced county, 
congratulate ourselves and the people generally that we 
have received full value for the money expended, Ac. 

P. Y. "Welch, 
J. F. Goodale, 
p. Bennett, 
C. H. Huffman, 
David Chedester, 
h. j- ostrander, 
R. Reynolds, 
Howard Pierce, 

P. Carroll, 
Samuel C Bates, 
A. B. Anderson, 
J . B. Sears, 
Frank Larein, 
T. W. Stuart, 
W. J. Hardwtck, 
N. B. Stoneroad, 

Wm. H. Neill. 

James Cunningham, 
A. Stevenson, Secretary. 



Section 6, of an Act approved December 22, 1873, , «*- 
titted • ■ An let to provide for the building of and fuming 

Lard of Supervisors shall levy and cause to be collected a 
Board ol snp ^ mQ of the 




Capabilities of Merced County, 

Character of Soil, Productions, 
Cotton Culture, 




The following shows the grants of land in the county, as 
well as its total area : 

Name of Grant. 

Name of Confirmee. 

No. of acres, 


Panoche de San Jued y Iob OarriHalitoa 

San Luis Gonzaga 

Sanjon de Santa Kitu 

Sebastian Nunez. 
TJrea & Konco... 

J. P. Pncheco 

P. Sobranes 

Area of private grants. 
Area of public land.. 

Total number of acres. 

24,321 .43 

1,155,336 84 


Merced county is situated near the center of the State, and 
comprises a portion of what is known throughout the world 
as the great San Joaquin valley. It is bounded on the north 
by Stanislaus county, on the east by Mariposa and Fresno, 
on the south by Fresno, and on the west by Santa Clara and 
San Benito. 

Its eastern boundaries extend into the foot-hills of the 
snow-capped Sierras, and its western to the summit of the 
Coast Range, near Mount Hamilton. 

The northern boundary corresponds very nearly with the 
thirty-eighth degree of north latitude, and its southern with 
the thirty-seventh degree of the same latitude. Longitude 
one hundred and twenty-one west from Greenwich runs 
through the center of the county. 

The boundaries have often been in dispute, and even now 
are not definitely settled along the line of Stanislaus county . 
In the Spring of 1872, Mark Howell, Esq., as County 
Surveyor, was engaged in running the county boundary line 
between Merced, Mariposa, Stanislaus, and Tuolumne coun- 
ties. In May lie was ordered to retrace the line between 
Merced and Mariposa counties, and to make a map of the 
survey. He was also authorized to execute a general map 
of the county, " on the scale of one mile to he inch," which 
watt ompleted the following year, in a creditable manner. 
On July 7, 1873, A. T. Herman, County Surveyor of Santa 
Clara couuty, and George H Persia, Deputy Surveyor of 
Mereed, met for he purpose of establishing the boundary 
line between the two counties, and satisfa -torily completed 
their work. The water divide of the Mt. Diablo range 
marks the boundary line of the two counties, which connect 
for a distance of nineteen miles. 

Thebou ndary line between Merced and Fresno counties, 
which for several years had been in dispute, was settled in 
May, 1873, by the Board of Supervisors of Fresno county. 
The county of Fresno paid one-half the expense incurred 

mi making the survey, and Merced the other half. The fol- 
lowing certificate, filed by Mark Howell, Esq., explains the 
facts in relation to the settlement of the matter : 

" This is to certify that the Board of Supervisors of Fresno 
county, Cal., have this day made an order accepting the 
proposition made by the Board of Supervisors of Merced 
county, adopting the surveys made by the Surveyor of 
Merced county, approved February 5, 1869, and August 8, 
1866, by the Board of Supervisors of Merced county, on 
condition that Merced county furnish copies of the maps of 
said surveys and field notes; and that said order recites that 
the Board of Supervisors of Fresno county will order a war- 
rant drawn in favor of Merced county, on November next, for 
$881 22, half of said surveys. Attest my hand and the seal 
of said Board, 7th of May, 1873. H. Dixon, Clerk." 


The land along all the rivers and streams[has been formed 
by the washings of the streams, and is called " river bottom 
land;" that between the "trough" and the foot-hills is 
called "plain land;" and from thence to the mountains 
proper, "foot-hill lands." 

We meet with the rolling land, or " hogwallow," as it has 
been called, in all parts of the county. Upon this land a 
few years ago wild bunch grass grew in abundance, and it 
was classed too poor for cultivation, but now this same land 
is considered very fine wheat land, and has been settled 
into magnificent farms, and Merced soon will be, if not 
already, the banner county of the State in wheat production. 

The valley of the San Joaquin differs from an Illinois 
prairie in that it has two magnificent mountain ranges for its 
boundaries— the Sierra Nevada? on the east and the Coast 
Kange on the west. Being so situated, it is not exposed to 
severe storms or cold weather, but has a uniform and de- 
sirable climate, which, with its rich soil, makes a rich agri- 
cultural county. The subject of Climate is referred to 
extensively on pnge 198. 


Alkali spots occur in some parts of Ihe county. This 
name is applied, in California, almost indiscriminately, to 
all soils containing an unusual amount of soluble mineral 
soil, whose presence is frequently made apparent by the 
" efnoressence, " or blooming out on the surface of a white 
powder or crust, soluble in water. This "' alkali" becomes 
most apparent in dry weather following upon rains or irri- 
gation. Later in the season it usually becomes less per- 
ceptible, from intermixture with dust, as well as from the 
failure of the soil-water to rise near enough to the surface. 
The first rain, dissolving the salty substances, carries them 
partly into the water courses, but chiefly back into the soil, 
whence they arise again at the reoccurrence of dry weather. 




Professor Hilgard, in bis report to the Board of Regents 
«f rt, fl Stale University, says: 

orating at tne suria , i dig _ 

r C^otr «pC^ salty or r; e , 
ging, is by no ^ . mch or two b6 . 

an d the same rs most! *« ^ . ^ 

nea th *• "^ * «. ™ ;t to avaporate at fte sm .. 

face, it » ««. becomes g0 strong as to m- 

ao cumulate, untd the solu ^ be 

hire rkiU all useful vegetal, on^ The n y ^ ^ 

found to-be most severe just at or near ^ 

^r^s^£ *■«-■■? 

^:::^eadofrainsu =rrr:S 
t0 "** " TitT— £5. —11 or i lri - 

r=^^ir;;^see P age wffl carry 
them into the country drarnage. .,_ 

An analysis of alkahne sods ™^J salta) , 

showed as follow: Sulphate * of Udium (com- 
93 . 2; chloride of p~ »■ "££, _ ^ sllown to 
m on salt), 5.9. Total. 99.0. ^ ;n _ 

consist almost entirely o epsom saH, ^ ^ 
jurious action upon vegetaUon even ^ rf 

These alUli spots are now fas PP ed up 

the land containing them has of late year 

and sown to grain. 



Yonder are olive trees in *^ *"^£S *ri 
fter , Euglish walnuts and ^ ^ 1" time has 
swelling. The apple trees do not **f« he3 

iug rudely pulled and thrust into market. 

The following «tu J^ audVate. It is 
a ptl y describes the -" ^ vel , ta wn, and there are 
dated in March: The scene not ^ in the 

thousands of acres of ™^£* broug ht to the state 

eorrespondent graphically cle-nes^ whMe ^ ^ 

.. A few miles from the bay w mountai ns stand 

snow-covered heads of the ,8»»* * ^ 

out clear and sharp agamst the a ^ ^ 

foot-hills, fuchias.geramums and -s^ getare ^ ^ 

open buds and blossoms. 1 tos the quince 

quinces of last year's crop ■ ^ The purest crystal 

trees are thickly covered with boss - ^ ^ ^ ^ 

wat6 rs come leaping from *^^1 „. Humming- 
meadows laugh with the gayest-codo ^ ^ 
birds and swallows, calla-hllxes 


Around these boulder ocks are gP e ^ 

rejoice in ten-pound cluster, P^ ^ ^ ^ 

ther along, against the fence «^J ^ head , tliat 

feet high, with three or four short - ^ ^ & 

dually bears one hundred ^ «J old wood , thr ee 
patch of raism grapes thee j ^ ^^ 

inoVies in aj-^L to support the fruit 
w ith triangular fiame3 an « wasps had picked at 

After the children -d ch kens . 1 rf ^ 

tll em last year, ^"^"^ and quantity of pears, 
1 luscious dried rarsm. The cpr.^ ^ ^ ^ ^ 

plumsand cherries, rsous ^ items a8 

our reputation or truthMn-B y ^ ^ ^ ^^ 

tb ve re told to us Aroun seventy feet- 

rosebush, ^-f^trrtwas encroaching upon the 
a t that point cut bak,beoaus tQ ^^ ^ 

S:l— -— of mountain homes w. 

b te a ^r:r— description is a of r 
thlands of homes that ^B^;-^ h ^ 
TO rance and wisely du-ected ^ust^ areworking p 60 - 

sunny clime. The owners , of ^ ^^ 

B , e The wife is equally at home ^^^ 

Hckenyard, at the ^°^ ^Californiau, who, 
i3 the son of a Puntan sue and a p^ ^^ 

in addition to his darly «*^ irfo a fitful flower- 
hours to transform thrs rocky hdlsul 

crowned paradise. 


Rodeos, or Cattle Gatherings. 

As early a* the first settlement of California, cattle were 

paid to milk or batter; cattle of every descnptron and age 
ran wild together. They soon multiplied, and ,n great herds 
grazed upon the hills and roamed over the valleys. They 
Le used only for their hides and tallow as there was - 
market for the meat. For many years tins was the Ine 
article of export and commodity of trade. Who e herds 
were slaughtered upon the fields, the hides and tallow car- 
ried away, and the carcass left where the animal was slam. 
These cattle resembled wild loeasts of the forests more 
than cows; they were generally of a yellowish-brown or 
drab color, with large, dark circles around the eyes and 
nostrils; long, slim legs, and as lank as a hound and as swift 

as a deer. 

There was on all the cattle ranches a time set apart at cer- 
tain seasons, generally in the spring of the year, for the 
purpose of collecting the cattle in order to overlook and 
count them, and to brand the young ones with the mark ot 
the ranch, and perform certain other operations, as well as 
to accustom them-to take the fold and prevent them from 

running wild. 

This was called a rodeo after the old Spanish custom, and 
was a holiday to all the inhabitants of the ranch and its vi- 
cinity. Numbers came from great distances to assist aud 
collect their cattle. A person was appointed to settle dis- 
putes called " Judge of the Plains." 


On an occasion of this kind the cattle were driven into a 

large ring fold at a wide opening on one side. This was 

afterward all closed up, except a small door left for the cattle 

to be forced out at. Those to be operated upon were made 

to escape at this door singly; and when a bull found himself 

in the open field he usually made off with the utmost speed, 

pursued by a gaug of horsemen swinging their lassos in the 

air, and while in full chase, and when they got within point 

blank, those foremost , throw their lassos, some round the 

horns', others round the neck, some would entrap a hind leg, 

others a fore one. They then stop short their well-trained 

horses and the bull falls as if shot, tumbling heels over 


In a moment he is secured by tying the lassos round his 
legs, and by some of the vaqueros lying down on his head. 
In this state the wildest bull lies perfectly motionless and 
suffers whatever operation has to be performed almost with- 
out making an effort at resistance. 

Says L. C. Branch: "I have seen rodeos at my father's 
place on the Tuolumne river, though when quite small, yet 
I remember the circumstances well. People would come 

from ail over the neighboring country, some even horn the 
Merced river, the San Joaquin, and Tuo umnc 

In the upper San Joaquin valley and on the southern 
coast, the herds run almost wild, and they are never touched, 
as a rule except when they are branded or slaughtered. 
The law of California provides that the ownership of horses 
and cows shall be proved by the brand; and every spring 
and fall in the southern cattle ranches, the herds are driven 
up the' calves and colts are lassoed, thrown down and 
branded on the hip with the iron of the owner. When the 
mark is well burned in, the victim is let loose, with no 
pleasant impression of human kindness. The herdsman or 
vaqvero is not expected to recognize every one of a thousand 
head of cattle under his charge; but he knows the brand, 
and by that proves property. When the animal is sold it is 
lassoed again and branded on the shoulder, and this mark 
is called the venta or sale. It is lassoed once more to be 
slaughtered, that is if killed on the ranch; if driven off to 
town, it may be shot in a corral. 


About May 1st, the spring rodeos begin. When a rodeo is 
to be held on any given range, notice is sent out in advance 
to the men in charge of neighboring ranges, and when the 
rodeo takes place each of the neighboring ranges will be rep- 
resented by one or more vaqueros, who assist in the work. 
Roaming about at will, the cattle of different owners become 
miuglod in the course of a season, and at the rodeo they are 
sorted out and separated. The calves stay with their re- 
spective mothers, and thus any confusion of ownership re- 
garding them is prevented. The calves belonging to the 
range are branded while the rodeo is in progress. The cattle 
and°calves belonging to other ranges are then driven off by 
the agents of their respective owners. One rodeo succeeds 
another, each on a different range, until all the cattle have 
been sorted out and claimed and all the calves branded. In 
the fall, rodeos are again in order. Each owner has his own 
private brand and ear-mark. BesiafTthe brand and ear- 
mark, a dewlap, made by an upward or a downward cut 
transversely through the loose skin of the neck, is commonly 


One of the great causes of loss to which cattle men are 
liable, is stampeding. This is a danger to which all large 
droves of stock are ever subject. Stampedes are caused by 
a sudden fright which instantaneously spreads through ft 
whole herd, aud starts them off in a moment on a mad, head- 
long, resistless rush to escape from sonm imaginary peril- 
Stampedes usually occur at night, but sometimes in the 
day. In Paradise valley, Nevada, last winter, 1,300 Oftttle 
confined in a number of corrals, took fright one night and 
broke out of their inolosuros, rushing off in a body. A 





ntt mberof them were killed in gullies. Many were not 

™ ov ered for weeks, and some have not yet been found. 

f«t cattle ready for market, and the loss to the 
They were fat cattle, reaay 101 , 

owners by the stampede was in the neighborhood of $10 00& 
Oatte lose enormously in weight by a stampede, and are 
"e m very bad eondition. And having once stampeded 

h y are liable to do so again on the slightest provocate. 

£, do not recover from the original fright for weeks the 

wdd n leaving them in a state of nervous 

r!ttle will stampede even when yoked to wagons. In 1849 

^t Is of cattle, five yoke to a team, all drawing em, 
"nt wagons, stampeded on the Sweetwater » Colorado, 

i Lot eight miles before they came to a halt. 

^IZZZ are also subjected to stampede. As 
Horses ana well4 »own eccentricity of im- 

^Sacit"—, mules makeaworse stampede 

than either korsea or cattle. 


. n * fl«W ir a scene of rare activity, and 

farmer in Merced county it is a eomuK ,n • rf 

A space has been cleared by the ^ & ^ ^ 

a eighty field of yellow, waving gram a field ^ 


ta reality, a steam-boUer upon .*£ ^ ^ (fl- 
stands the engineer, with a foik, 8 a 

only fuel used) into the voracious fi^bos 

J of water catches the ^^" water from 

--- e - V^^^^^edily tran, 
L^ralclurs 'a ^e driving whee! to revolve 

rapidly- ,, i ;„ tbe East "threshing machine," 

The "Separator," called in the W. 
stands some thirty feet away, connected, it 

wheel of the enginery a long belt. 


. ■ jjj. twelve or twenty^ 

The reapers are jM« each by ^ ^ ^ swath cu t 

four horses, according to the s b its consort 

bamessed behind, - -jX«U T ^ 
wagon, upon the quivering mass o ^^ ^ 

horse," the machine going first ana 

i„g instead of pulling. e , behind his 

last of all, the driver rides upon ft 8 ^ ^ 
horses, his hand upon a lever ^ J^ ^ ^ ^ 
that he may raise or lower the scytn, 

and thus secure all the heads. The revolution of the whe Is 
causes the reel to revolve, and also shuffles the soy he while 
an endless belt carries the severed heads (each with its si .or 
twelve inches of straw attached) up aslanting gangway, 
into the attendant wagon. 


This wagon, having a box very high on one side and very 

to erect a mammoth packing-case on wheels but had run 
out of material after finishing the bottom, both ends and 

Tctwagon is manned by two persons, one to drive, being 
very careful to keep close alongside the reaper heotbe 
Jed with a fork, to pack the heads away as ttiey % ^ 
.i i „iA a nf fhA box) ti'om "ie ^"b^^J 

^^ w ^ ^ w^■*•^ tolBl *•* ,,,o,, ' 

irC^i waives away to the separated an 
empty one takes its place, to be filled as was the forme. 

It the separator there are generally Uo -£^» 
loaded at the same time, one on each Sid. lw 
for ks, pitch the -^at heads upon a^il^ torm ^ 
or eight feet high while .our . J*J £ the p^ ^ 
it to the separator. It leguiai j maD ager 

vum b,e attests the fact, but the V**£a^ ^^J^ 
detects on the instant any complam from 

attached to a twelve-foot wooden shovel 

At the side, protected from the dust an^ J ^ 
awning, a steady — o cleave grain ^ ^ 
new sacks by one man whUe g ^^ caroe s 

m0 uth of each, as ffled and ^ An0 n, 

it out and deposits it upon ng 

thes e are loaded upon immens double ^ tQ 

from si, to nine cms, and are hauled ^ j ^ ^ ^ 

sixteen horses (all guided by - ^ j ^ ^^ 
warehouse of the proprietor, there toh ^ ^^ 

Yet even in this ■*f" B ^"^£ k must be laid so as 
f their enterprising owner. 


Far away stands thewh—^^-vest^whe, 

at early dawn they ^f^J^ night amid these 
ye t abbreviated the day, £« J"^ ^ golden ^ md 
mountain solitudes. b«n 


the eastern hills, all hands are 
In some cases a cooking car 

as the lurid orb peeps oer 
stirring for the clay's contest 

is used for the hands, and, being on wheels, is moved about 
from place to place. It is a k.tchen on wheels, and as neat 
as any housewife's ordinary kitchen, and is probably twice 
as convenient; for the size is ample, having a long cent* 
table, capable of accommodating twenty men; the range « 
a fine one of the latest improved pattern. The car is one ot 
the prominent features of the outfit, and is adm>rab y ar- 
ranged for the comfort of the crew, giving them a coul anil 
comfortable place to eat in; no flies to bother them, but a 
breeze to fan them while they eat. 

The idea of threshers providing their crews with " grub, 
and in fact, supplying all the necessaries sufficient for the 
carrying out of their threshing contract, is giving entire sat- 
isfaction to our farmers, and ere long all threshing outfits 
will be carried on under the same excellent idea, doing away 
with the vexatious worry to the farmer's wife in preparing 
food for the "horrid threshers." 

Many farmers stack the grain as fast as cut, and after- 
wards thresh from the stack. This plan has advantages, but 
we are not sufficiently posted to explain them. A derrick is 
used to carry the straw from the stack to the separator. 
The derrick is fitted with two handy Jackson forks, which 
are of a convenient size, and by the use of horse power are 
operated, and the straw fed to the machine. There are also 
sometimes traveling stables, with mangers and hay racks 
well arranged, giving room for sixteen to twenty-four horses 
to feed around. 

The great separators, which have of late years been intro- 
duced into this State, have been marvels of mechanical skill 
and ingenuity, until one would imagine that the skilled me- 
chanic had left nothing undone in the construction of these 
masterpieces of workmanship. 


The publisher of this work was last season (1880) travel- 
ing through one of the immense wheat fields of Merced 
county. We say immense, as we had been traveling for 
hours through a vast field of wheat. In every direction was 
wheat; not a house, tree, or object of any kind had been in 
sight for a long time — only wheat, wheat. At last our eyes 
caught sight of a queer looking object in the distance, and 
curiosity, as well as a desire to see something beside wheat,, 
led us towards it. 

"We were astonished at the sight, and looked long in 
wonder and amazement at a combined header and thresher. 
Twenty-four horses were pushing this immense machine over 
the ground, and as it passed along dropped sacks filled with 
wheat. The horses were six abreast — twelve each side of 
the tongue — and the swath cut was 24 feet wide. The grain 
heads, iu the meantime, instead of passing into the header- 

, a , went directly into the separator, and the grain was 

sacked and thrown off. It was worth a long journey to see 
this wonderful machine with its twenty-four horses trained 
like circus animals, and all moving at the command of the 
man " at the wheel" who guides the header by a tiller at- 
tached to a wheel at the end of the tongue, which acts as a 
rudder frr this "agricultural ship." While watching its 
operations the writer wondered if on his next trip that way 
he would not also see the grist-mill attached and the ma- 
chine throwing off sacks of flour ! 


Well! our dream of wonder we learn is nearly a realiza- 
tion! We are informed that to some of these machines 
have been attached a barley mill, which grinds (coarse for 
feed) the barley as fast as cut. So then the reader will un- 
derstand that the barley is cut, threshed and ground as fast 
as the machine proceeds. The Eastern reader must remem- 
ber that the grain often stands, after ripening, from one to 
two mouths, and is hard and dry when cut. 

M. D. Atwater, one of the large and successful farmers of 
Merced, uses what is called the "Little Patent" harvester. 
It cuts a swath twenty-four feel wide, sacking the grain as it 
proceeds, using a force of five men and twenty-four horses. 
The editor of the Argus thus describes a visit to this ranch: 
"A ride of six miles over a sandy road to the great farm 
of thousands of acres, where we found the new machine, 
consisting of a twenty-four foot header and thresher all in 
one machine, run by five men and twenty-four horses, in full 
operation, finishing up the harvesting— cutting, threshing, 
sacking and housing the straw of fifty acres per day. 

We, iu company with the ladies, stood upon the platform 
of the machine while it was going and cutting its swath of 
twenty-four feet in mdth and a mile and a half long, and had 
an opportunity to witness its movements and the ease with 
which it does the cutting, threshing and sacking of the 
-rain and depositing the straw in a header wagon to be 
housed in the barn or stacked. 


"The harvester used by Mr. Atwater was built in his own 
shop, upon the farm. Farmers have been for years experi- 
menting upon gang plows and harvesters, all of which Mr. 
Atwater has been making and using with success, upon his 
level, sandy farm." 


This machine is valuable whore vast fields of grain like 
Mr. Atwater aud other large farmers have ore. to be harvested. 
It is arranged so as to cut around a huge " patch" of hun- 
dreds of acres — so large that tho machine will only g' 1 
around the piece of grain somo four or six times in a day, 



from sunrise to sunset. The reader will thus get some idea 

f the vastness of a Merced wheat field. 

We are informed that thirty-two of these large combined 
machines have been made and are in operation no where else 
in the world, except in Stanislaus, Merced, Tulare, Kern, 

and San Joaquin counties, California. 

To have theEastern reader comprehend the operations of 
to machine, he must remember that it is constructed with 
.knife twenty-four feet long, which operates like that of a 
moving machine. Back of the knife, on a platform sup- 
ped bv wheels, is placed the threshing machine, here 
Sea a separator. Behind this is a tongue to which are at- 
Lld ihehor-, and they puA the machine ahead of 
tiluto the grain. The horses are six abreast each side 

° f t^ne cuts a swath twenty-four feet wide ; nd re- 
quires only four men to operate it, who are stationed as fol- 

10 rU the driver, who rides on a seat on the tongue and 
has his twenty-four horses so trained that they all start at 


Second the stearsman, who stands ou the machine, act- 
ing aritain, and who guides the machine m the sam 
Z that a steamboat is steared, by ropes running to a wheel 

on the end of the tongue^ ^ 

Third, the opera or who aise^ or ^ ^ 

of the machine, adapting it to tne in i 

groundand difference in height of grain. ^ 

as the machine proceeds, or in case 

-- - b --;i;:t: —:«.:-. -«■•■ 

machine goes over just the s rf ^ ^ 

the yield be light or heavy ■£«£ wMcll is feo m 

TOI y from three hundred ° J^^ ed bushels per 
seven hundred to one thousand wo ^ le9S 

dfty . The cost of barvesto g i^on« any otne v machinery 
^"°l—:X:Woo^. 5 00 or ,,000. 

few days becomes so dry that is can be threshed, sacked and 
shipped withsafety, and, instead of moulding on the voyage 
to Liverpool, gains in weight by absorbing moisture from a 
more humid atmosphere; and that in ease of necessity the 
farmer can send his crop to market the day after he cu s i. 
It is usual to send off several cargoes to Europe before Ju b> 
The piles of sacks full of wheat lying in the fields m June 
and July, and similar piles heaped up near the railroad 
stations in August, September and October, are among the 
uotb sight! the agricultural districts of California, but 
lock, stacks, and barns full of unthreshed gram are rare. 


The wheat of California is hard, white, dry, and strong in 
gl „ten, and the surpluses mostly shipped to England, where 
it is prized as among the best there obtainable^ 

Nearly a thousand vessels enter the port of San Fiancisco 
■ I anda large number of these are required to carry 

m ayear.andalarg $15]0 00,000 is annually re- 

the wheat to Europe. Some ^ ^^ 

^tr^ran^'oi^aingl the amount which 

° 0U t ih m Great Britian, Belgium, France, Australia, 

I" South' America, New Zealand, China, Germany, 
Spain South Am ^^ ^ ^^ 

^riist^srtat we — — - 

uearly every country of the globe. 


« ■ ,1,1 these vast harvesting operations 
Only in California could these v ^^^ u £rom 
be carried on in this manner, m ^^ ^ ^ ^ 

May to November- there is no • .^ . nflu6DCB 

wi ,l bear this last fact in ^^"est time there is no fear 
upon farming operations. « destruction by 

of damage to the crop from a shows , o ^ ^ 

a storm ; no labor is lost an accoun aM J ^ ^ ^ 
aispense with barns £&££*£ rea dy to cut, in a 
field in sacks until sold, the grai 


We must give the reader some idea of how these large 

We must giv ^ug-plows are used of 

fields are cultivated. On th,- Le g D P feet ^ ^ 

'f' ;,i :rnb"^^«-rses,andh a saseed d 
plow is diawn oy game ^^ aDd 

— Itfir t^aLs of land are plowed 

further care or cultivaUo,- , peihaps, J^^ 
^le'r^rrl—totheplowsand follow 

the seeding. „ nnf r-nlows with seeding at- 

w course ^ ~ Xh^soilsor upon uneven 

rr::": rig te ^ smooth ,*.. ^ 

^T Sa iTn S oVho" t hought to be required 
inches deep. A span ^.^ team . 

for each plow in the gang, one dn ^e fl be _ 

frequently a machine sower and —_ nt ^ ^ 

Mud the plows, and tas at o ^.^ 

broken, sown, harrowed - d pi P» ^ ^ rf 

The lightness of the sou, iu 


of atones, bushes, and trees, permit the reduction of the 
land from its wild state to cultivation at a very little ex- 
pense—that is, after abundant rains have come to soften the 

A sulky gang with two plows, each cutting twelve inches, 
drawn by six horses, will dispatch four acres per day; while 
a five gang plow, each cutting ten inches, drawn by eight or 
ten horses, will dispatch eight acres in a day, only one man 
being required in each case. We have no estimate of the 
cost of plowiug, but understand the cost per acre of plow- 
ing large fields is variously estimated at from forty cents to 
one dollar per acre to the farmer provided with horses and 
gang-plows. Generally the cost of plowing on small farms 
and in the strong soils is estimated at various prices, from 
two to three dollars per acre. 


The sowing commences with the first heavy rain, which 
comes in some years as early as the first of November, and 
continues to the first of April. The ground used for small 
grain bakes hard during the heat and drought of summer 
and autumn, and plowing is not possible until the rain 
comes, and rain enough to wet the earth thoroughly, at least 
six inches deep. The plows are then set to work immedi- 
ately, running from four to eight inches deep. One plowing 
is usually considered sufficient. The grain is sown accord- 
ing to convenience, soon after the plowing, or after the lapse 
of weeks, and is immediately harrowed in. The amount of 
seed sown to the acre varies from a bushel and a half to two 
bushels. The sowing is usually done broadcast. 


The subject of cotton culture has attracted a good deal of 
attention in this county. Good crops are raised annually by 
those engaged in its cultivation. The first shipment of 
cotton was in 186G by Messrs, Skelton & Turner, who for- 
warded the first three sacks of their crop of cotton, weigh- 
ing somewhere in the neighborhood of seven or eight 
hundred pounds, the product of three-quarters of an acre 
of ground, belonging to Albert Ingalsbe of this county. It 
was sent to the cotton factory at Oakland to be ginned and 
worked up. 

This, we believe, was the first cotton that had as yet 
gone in search of a market from this section of country. 
Mr. Ingalsbe stated that the total cost of raising the above 
crop was not over twenty-five dollars, which shows conclu- 
sively that when the land is suitable, it is a better thing 
than wheat and barley raising. Mr. Ingalsbe put in two 
and a half acres the next year for experiment. 

The Buckley brothers of Merced county, who are among 
the pioneer cotton growers of the State, had the honor of 
making the first export of native cotton from California. 

The shipment consisted of 23,000 pounds. This cotton is 
all said to have been of the most excellent quality, quite 
equaling the best sea island cotton. 


Col. Strong finished picking his crop of cotton November 
23, 1871, and the result of his experiment summed up as 
follows: The field of cotton consisted of fifty-one acres, 
measured, from which he gathered seventy-four thousand 
four hundred and fifty pounds of seed cotton. Thirty acres 
of the field originally planted in cotton, upon which he 
failed to get a stand, was plowed over and replanted with 
corn, which yielded nine hundred bushels— worth in the 
market about §1.50 a bushel at that time. The cotton and 
corn crop gathered from the eighty acres amounted to about 
as follows: Cotton, 74,450 pounds at six cents per pound, 
§4 467; corn, nine hundred bushels, at SI. 50 per bushel, 
$1,350, making the gross proceeds amount to $5,817. It 
seems to us that this ought to have convinced all of the value 
of Col. Strong's experiment, and induced all who had suit- 
able land to enter into the business of cultivating the staple 
upon a large scale. The cotton of Strong's was of excellent 
quality, being remarkably white and clean, and totally free 
from stains of any kind. The lint was fine, silky, and was 
sufficiently lengthy to bring it up to a high grade, ranking, 
perhaps, as good as " middling." 

One reason why cotton has proved eminently profitable 
here to the producer is, that the labor of cultivation is done 
between the time of planting small grain and the harvest, 
when labor is plenty and men can be had at less rates than 
rule during harvest and seed-time. 

Crops of cotton are raised every year in. Merced county, 
and the cotton interest is going to become a very important 
one. The crop on the Merced river for 1S81 will probably 
reach 600 tons. During the yeur 1880 the Merced "Woolen 
Mills consumed the entire crop of the county, which was 
about 65,000 pounds. Although the price ruled low last 
year, planters did quite as well as the farmer of the plains. 
To place cotton on a footing with other products, the 
country wants cotton mills. 

Kingdom of Miller & Lux. 

The lauds of this firm extend a distance of sixty-eight 
miles along the west side of the San Joaquin river. This 
body of land is from five to forty miles wide. On the east 
side of the river they have other tracts in smaller lots and 
comprise in all nearly 175,000 acres. 

Large sums have been spent iu irrigating canals along 
this tract on the west side, which are fully described further 



on under the head of Irrigation. A large view of a part of 
the irrigation canal will be found in this work, entitled 
"Firebaugh's Ferry and Poso Farm." 

This vast tract is used mostly for stock raising. The 
acreage of grain is not large, say 5,000 acres. There are 
large tracts of alfalfa, from which three crops are taken and 
the fields twice pastured. 

Aside from owning a large interest in the San Joaquin 
and King's River Canal, which runs from the mouth of 
Fresno Slough to Los Banos Creek, a distance of forty miles, 
Miller & Lux have also constructed a canal on the east side 
of the San Joaquin which takes water from some of the 
numerous sloughs in that region and overflow their pasture 
lauds in the dry season. 

The mouth of Salt or St. Louis Camp is fifteen miles 
.hove Hill's Ferry, and five miles up this slough stands one 
of Miller & Lux's warehouses which has a storage capaci y 
of twelve hundred tons of wheat, and which is some twenty 
miles from their principal warehouse. Here may be _seen 
90 me ancient adobe shanties, and a rude corral, rel B of 
« ye olden time." From this spot is presented a most lovely 
landscape, overlooking the vast acres of this ranch, and its 
thousands of cattle and sheep. 


farm-hands, etc., noT omitting detectives, and it is said he 
knows just what all of his help are about. 

Mr. Miller arrived in San Francisco a poor man. tfy 
steady industry and indomitable perseverance, accompanied 
by excellent judgment, he has succeeded in a most extraordi- 
nary manner. While he must of necessity be exacting in the 
management of so large an estate and in his dealings with so 
many men, and where such varied interests are constantly 
presented, we have heverheard that he was sordid, arrogant 
or overbearing, but a generous-hearted man. 

We are not able to give the exact number oi stock on th s 
ranch, but can give some idea of the number when we ay 
that iB 000 calves were branded at one time In 881 
MUe & Lux sheared about 80,000 head of sheep, .Inch 
fave employment to over 70 shearers. The fo lowing it m 
SgTe the reader some idea of the vastness of the ^ 
There are two strings of board fence on this f aim each 
***tt miles long, besides various cross fences. 

Messrs Miller & Lux own more cattle than any other firm 
o^ividual on the coast, their «* ««£ 
haps 50,000 head in California, and 10,000 moie 
Their cattle are all under fence ^ 

They have a caltle ranch near Gihoy, m 
X, and another one fourteen miles long in he M 
55 of Gabilan mountains, in Monterey county. These 
ranches are used for stock ranges. 

The owners of large herds never know the exact n 

estate of the torn, here and m othe r parts « ^ 

display a wonderful —«*% ^ ag 

payment to hundreds of men He has wh ^ 

L " Home Kanch," and the Canal *ȣ ^ 

eral dairy ranches on tins body of lancL H P 

of carpenters, wagon-mates, fence-budders, 

Early Stage and Express. 

The pony express was an enterprise started in 1860, by 
Majors, Russell & Co., of Leavenworth, Kansas, to meet 
the pressing business wants of the Pacific coast. It wrll be 
remembered that the usual time made on the mad servrce, 
by steamer, between New Tork and San Fraucsco was 
about twenty-sis days. The first OM m " C ^ 
rived in San Francisco, October 10, 1858-camed rt rom 
St. Louis, Missouri, via Los Angeles, in twenty- hree clays 

i ,-. „. a Tim Ponv Express— which lett tot. 
twRntv-one hours. me a uuy ^^i 

ZX Missouri, and San Francisco, simultaneous y, April 
8 1860-succeeded in transporting it through safely on rts 
L trip, in ten days; on its second, in fourteen days; 
El Sne days; fourth, ten days; fifth, nmedays; srxth 
tin days; a distance of one thousand nine hundred and 
Tetysil miles. This rapid transmission of busrness cor 
"Iptndencewasof incalculable value to busrness men m 

^Tnifslce, we can readily see, required courage and en- 

duln e s Veil as enterprise and the expenditure of large 

nf money The moment the ferry-boat touched land 

, ™ onward he hastened, until, at the tnrice 

:s=- r -rhi^tadt: 

W tt b yf ' he galloped off, and was soon lost in the drs- 
rt He rides on alone, over prairies and mountams; 
tance He de ^ ^^ ^ 

^rsinr— the goaf of his hopes, and the 

n eed only glance at the news papery *e day ^ 

items as the followmg were eta ^. ^ ^ 

pressman has just returned - Col Spr^ ^ ^ 

KiStaiHsth^httheBobert-sCree, station ha, 


been destroyed. Eight animals were stolen from Co 
Springs Monday." "Bartholomew Riley died last night 
from a wound received at the Cold Spring- station, on the 
16th of May. Just arrived from the Indian battle-ground 
at Pyramid Lake, tired as he was, he volunteered to nde 
the next change, then, a distance of eighty-five miles, whei e 
he received the wound of which he died." "BttWraa 
Peakers found the body of the station-keeper mutilated, an 
all the animals missing at Simpson's Park." 


Among the early express enterprises was that of John H. 
Everett, an • enterprising Yankee, fleet of foot and slick of 
tongue, who run a foot express in those days from the Ferry 
through the mines, leaving Knight's Ferry every 
Wednesday and Saturday, and returning every Tuesday aud 
Friday. He carried the mail and baggage on his own back, 
and used an old manzanita stick, twisted in various curves, 
for a cane, and when Everett's Express started "it went like 
lightning" over hills, ravines, gulches, bars, valleys, and 
everything else that came in the way. 

This Yankee's ingenuity is best expressed in his card to 
the public, which was published in the Banner aud all the 
papers around. 

Everett's Express kept up with punctuality for several 
years, and included Snellnig in its route, uutil one day it 
did not arrive at the usual time. Night came and still Ev- 
erett had not come in; the next day, and still another passed, 
and no express arrived. Considerable alarm was now 
felt lest he had met with some accident, and the suspicions 
were but too true. About the third day news came that 
Everett's Express was no more; he had been found drowned 
near Two-Mile Bar, in one of the many shafts filled with 
water, which then existed in those regions. "Various the- 
ories were advanced in regard to the cause which led to his 
death. It was thought by some that he had met with foul 
play; that the express had been robbed, and this disposi- 
tion made of the carrier; others thought that he was proba- 
bly traveling in the night, and accidentally walked into this 
watery grave; and there were some who thought that on 
lying down to get a drink out of the hole of water, he had 
lost his balance and fell in head first. Some thought he 
had committed suicide. If we remember correctly, the 
mail bag was found undisturbed, and this fact, more than 
any other, led to the conclusion generally that his death 
was accidental. Poor Everett was no more; he had gone on 
a new journey, and taken with him. 

silman's line of stages. 

The line of stages of Mr. Silman, in 1870, ran from 
Stockton to Millerton, via Tuolumne City, Paradise City, 
Empire City, Snelling, and Plainsburg, making regular 

trips and well loaded with passengers. This line of stages 
supplied a section of country with mail facilities that had 
heretofore been deprived of so great a boon, and was a great 
convenience to travelers who desired to see that portion of 
the San Joaquin valley in passing from Stockton to Millerton. 
Afterwards Messrs. Silman and Carter entered into part- 
nership for the purpose of running a stage line from Stock- 
ton to Visalia. They stocked the road with good teams and 
comfortable stages, and ran four-horse stages through from 
Stockton to Visalia, and also From SnelliDg to Mariposa. 

The increase of travel through the San Joaquin valley de- 
manded this, and the stages were crowded to their utmost 

capacity every trip. 

As the country became settled up many new stage routes 
, were put in operation. The reliable Wells, Fargo & Co.'s 

Express soon established themselves on all routes. 

Southern Pacific Railroad. 

In 1870 the Central Pacific Railroad Company branched 
off from Lathrop with a road running through the center of 
the county. This new road was called the Stockton and 
"Visalia Division of the C. P. R. R-, and was making its way 
through the heart of the southern part of the State, and 
along its route sprang up new towns and villages, thus 
changing the general character of the country and forming 
new business centers. 

This part of the county had, within a few years, developed 
into a rich agricultural region. The large herds of cattle 
that once roamed over these plains had disappeared from 
view; the long horn of the Spanish steer was no longer vis- 
ible. The farmer had taken the place of the vaquero; the 
plow the place of the lariat. The branding-iron and the raw- 
hide, the lasso and the rodeo, had become relics of the past. 
The first bright gleams of a glorious future were dawning 
over the people. This great valley had become a unit in 
interest and alike in feeling; the two conflicting interests — 
agriculture and grazing — no longer crossed their swords in 
eternal warfare, but now they were united and led by a 
common interest. All had become stock-breeders; allgrain- 
growers. A large population had settled on these plains, 
and common interests had sprung into existence. 

The railroad runs through what looks to be an intermin- 
able wheat field. "Wheat, wheat; nothing but wheat as far 
as the eye can reach over the plain in every direction. 
Fields of two, three, and five thousand acres make but small 
farms. Here one man has 20,000; here another 40,000, all 
in wheat. In June the whole plain is oue ocean of waving 
heads. As you look out and see mile after mile without a 
division fence, 20 or 40 miles apparently in one field, you 
are lost in wonder. 


Rapid Increase in Prosperity. 

Real and Personal Property, rates of Taxation, 

Progress of the County from 

year to year. 

YEAE by year the Assessor's reports show a marked increase 
in the assessed valuation of all property. Nor is this to he 
wondered at. when we mark the strides made by mechanical 
invention in perfecting the tools with which the farmer works. 
But thirty years have elapsed since the Mexican fastened the 
crooked branch of a tree to the horns of his ox (by thongs) 
and therewith lightly scratched the bosom of Mother Earth ; 
then laboriously dropped the seed, one by one, in the tmy fur- 
rows he had made. See illustrations of these tools on page % 

Now behold the mighty gang-plows, yoked to a 
snorting steeds, cutting 

in our county jail, charged with murder, will mcrease the 
indebtedness of the county several thousand dollars. To keep 
the credit of the county in a healthy state, provision must be 
made for payment in a reasonable length of time. 

« County script, four weeks ago, would bring eighty-five cents 
on the dollar in gold coin, but now, in view of the increased 
indebtedness which will probably accrue through the prosecu- 
tion of the prisoners above mentioned, it would probably not 
bring forty cents on the dollar. 

-State tax 

Current Fund. . . 
School " 
Indigent " 
State Capitol tax. 

Road Fund 

Insane Asylum. . . 



Total tax rate. 


was seen 

waves a 



tling blades, rejecting 

score of 
broad swath of brown mold across 
the green prairie, from horizon to horizon. Next the auto- 
matic seeder scatters the germs by millions; and where once 
but the Mexican's tiny acre of scanty stalks, now 
billowy ocean of yellow grain, far as the eye can 
Not the slow sickle., or puny scythe must reap this 
The swift headers come, with waving wings and rat- 
the treasured straw of the Eastern 
farmer, and daintily choosing only the golden head. And 
last -no wooden flail with feeble beat, nor old-time fanmng- 
mffl. but the mighty steam separator, devouring heads by mi - 
Uons, and making immediate return in hundreds of tons of 

^^nderful increase of schools, caches an, t all 
those institutions calculated to elevate and benefit mankmd. 
The following article from the Banner will show the finan 
cial condition of the county in 1862:- 

1862 _.< The indebtedness of the county «™"PJ» folloWS 

-State tax .... 
County Fund. 
School " ■ 
Road " ■ 

Hospital " - 

S2 25 




Total tax rate , 

1865— For this year we 
i follows: — 

Against the Current Expense Fund 

<¥765 ■ Incidental Fund, $102.75 , 
' Add to this orders made by 

gS.023.43; Road Fund, 
; Indigent Sick Fund, S34S.50; 

find that the assessment roll sums up 

ertv SS56.149; which gives a State tax oi 91 . 
County tax of S12.800 09. ,, 


18 66-«The condition of our county," says the Bmm*. 
- has never been better since its organization. It is not only m 
.flourishing condition now, but the prospect bids fan.or rt to 

te :^h^Zn; i ca S esononrcourtdoc k et,our j an, 

-*.------i— shed™: 

:rrr:ri:r^es on the to P ro SP e 0te 

before us." 

1367— State Tax 

County " 

S3 13 
Total tax rate 

Total valuation of property S1 ' 1 ^'^{ 77 

Tax for the year 

SI 13 
2 00 

36,531 77 

making a total of §9,039.68. 
District Judge to pay 
of the District Court, 

— «ounty this ■„ 

allowances for the depreciation of the 

.The revenue of the county this year will probably amount 

to S8.000, after making .... (>f 

value oi property caused J^J^^* grass 

^^^to^^Z, I assessment from 
before being assessed, which wd 1 red w , be seen 

about $1,000,000 to about S700 000. 1 
*..* *. revenue of the county the present year wi 


-State tax. 
County " 

Total tax rate 

Floating debt of county. . . . . .-■■■■ 

Value of county property - Court 

House, jail, etc. 

Cash on hand 

SI 13 
1 95 

S3 08 
S25.538 78 

6,000 00 
194 89 

36,194 89 

itstanding indebtedness up 

that the revenue 

Sl.546.68 of paying the on 

time. But the cost of prosecuting Claik ana 

to this 

Total ■ ^1 nil 106 00 

Beal estate and improvements ^^g 00 

Personal property 

52,21 4,794 00 

te!!! §65,335 99 

Total property 

Amount to be raised by 


1869— Current Fund 
Indigent " 



$2 17 


1873— In this year 
assessment as follows: 

The exact figures being 1,538, against 1,025. 
the land was divided into four grades for 

Total taxrate 

, a ZZ9 4o6 00 

Real estate and improvements ^ ^^ QQ 

Personal property ' . 

Total valuation 

1870— State tax 

Current Fund. 
School " . 
Road " ■ 

Indigent " ■ 

Total tax rate. 

$2,110,812 00 

$ 97 

§2 17 

$24,629 30 
34,167 81 

State tax 

County " 

Total amount of tax ©58,797 11 

Value of real estate. . . . . ^{ff^ % 

Improvements on real estate Wo/U w 

Personal property 1,110,^6 UP 

Total valuation $2^7^o" 

a* 86 

1871— State tax 1 17 

County " 

Total tax rate S2 ° 3 

Total amount raised by tax $66,943 88 

i i * i.„ .§1,761,883 00 

Restate 249,855 00 

.... 882,073 00 

Number of acres in | 

each grade ■ i 

Actual cash value of I 

each acre per grade J 
Av'ge cash value per | 

acre of each grade J 
Total actual cash 

value of each grade 

lat Grade 


2d Grade. 

3d Grade. 

| $45,020 

810 to $20 


4th Grade. 

$5 to $10 



$1 to $5 



Real estate 

Personal property 




t. a om a<H acres of land in cultivation, and 

^T^ the!" 16 5,140 bushels; barley, 865,500; rye, 
reduced of wheat, H^ ^ ^^ ^ ^ ^ q£ 

The latter were raised on twenty-sis acres of 
.,,„£, r.Hlp over eiaht tons to the acre. 

58,530 pounds; cheese, 102,000 pounds; wool, l,853,27o. 

1,220; cor 


Personal property . 

. S 4,462,724 

-Real estate 466,312 

Improvements 2 028 215 

Personal property _J 

„ , , S 6,972,126 

T ° taL .649 


Total valuation $2,893,82100 

$ 60 

1872— Expense Fund 
School " . 
County " . 
Indigent " . 
Bounty " ■ 


$1 IS 

State tax 

Current expense 

School Fund 

Indigent Fund ■ 

Road Fund 

Bounty Fund 

Court House Bond, Int 



Total tax rate 

The following table shows the amount of revenue collected 
for State and county purposes for the year 1872, and the dis- 
position made of the same: — 

Total amount on assessment roll.. $84,599 54 

Total amount collected 881 ,676 04 

Paid into State Treasury **><*- oU 

Balance $47,893 »* 

Paid into Treasury.— 

To County School Fund $15,08d /b . 

To County Indigent Sick Fund . . 6,272 58 

To County Road Fund 7,666 56 

ToCountJcurrentBxpenseFund. 18,870 64-$47,893 54 

The Grand Jury impaneled for the May term of 1872 of the 
County Court, reported among other things that, in pursuance 
of a former order of the Board of Supervisors, the County 
Treasurer had loaned a part of the funds belonging to the 
Swamp and Overflowed Land Fund, and recommend that the 
money be " applied to the uses for which it was collected." 

The registered vote of Merced County for the year 1872-73 
as compared with the preceding year, showed an increase of 

Total tax rate ; ■ • ■ 

This year the county had 206,540 acres under ■«***£ 

and the production of wheat ™» 10 ^^ V«™^b- 
610 bushels; corn, 22,210; beans, 1,456; cotton, llS.OOOpounds 
butter, 69,620 pounds; cheese, 103,500 pounds; wool, l,/20,oUU 
pounds; honey, 1,600 pounds; potatoes, 110 tons; sweet pota- 

toes, 160 tons. . .. 

Merced ranked fourth in the list of wool-growing counties 
Fresno, Los Angeles and Calaveras being ahead. These figures 
show the fertility of the soil in the great valley of the ban 
Joaquin, even in years of great drought. 

The item of land cultivated of course includes that portion 
devoted to fruit culture, which was comparatively in its infancy 
in this county, there being but 25,738 fruit trees of all kinds 
within its borders; but as the adaptability of her foot-hills tor 
fruit-growing becomes known, Merced will soon rate A 
among the productive counties of the State. 

1875— State tax 

Current Fund. .'. 

Sick Fund 

School Fund 

Road Fund 

Bounty Fund 

Court House Bond, Int. 

Total tax rate 











1876— State Fund ■ • ■ • • 

Current Expense I? unci 

Indigent Sick Fund 

General Road Fund 

County School Fund 

Bounty Fund ■ ■ 

Squirrel Nuisance Abatement. 
Court House Bond Int. Fund . 









Total tax rate S1 - 77 


The following joint report shows the financial condition of 

Me^ Count/on the first day of May, 1881, as g.ven by the 

Auditor and Treasurer;— 

The funded debt of the county, of which there is no definite 
Jord founts to S75.000, bearing interest at the rate of ten 

.V wr annum, interest payable annually, 
per cent, per annum, m^ ^j ^^ ^ g8059677 

S 789 52 
10,034 99 

i3 31 

The floating debt of the 

Offcto amount $19,081.18 is payable from uieuoumo --- 

follows: — ft 18128 48 

Warrants unpaid against ^^^ oad ^ 2^00 00 
Warrants unpaid against tbe '-ounty 67 

Warrants ^P^^^^.^S District No. 2 10,034 99 

Warrants unpaid against Road L> stnc ^ QQ 

Warrant unpaid against Road Distuct 36 

Warrants unpaid against Bounty if una. 

§60,010 59 


The total interest-bearing debt of the county "^^ 00 

Funded debt (Court House bonds) ■ ^ m 5fl 

Floating debt (out. war.) 


By amount overdrawn 

Bv warrants outstanding ■ 


To balance in Treasury b 

By warrants outstanding - ■ - ■ • ■ ■ 


To amount in Treasury ^ 7 >^ D 

This balance is made up as follows :- 
Warrants on Current Fund. . . . . . - 

Warrants on County Road Fund. . 

Warrants on County Road Fund 

Certificate of purchase 424 

Certificate of purchase 277 

Certificate of purchase 274 

Note of A. J. Meany....... ••■■ 

Mortgage of Wigginton & Howell 

Mortgage, March & Stockird 

Mortgage, J. B. Cocanour 

Actual cash • ■ -y ■ ■ ■ ■ SQ 723 36 

To balance to credit of District *»,/^ 

By school moneys deficit 25 97 

Sundry local funds 

Sundry over drafts- . ...^ ■ - ■ — ■ • ■ ^ 

The property XgTn^the -unty other than highway, 
is estimated as follows :— _ .$80,000 

Court House and grounds ^ 7000 

County Farm ■■■•■•■ ■ ■ ■ ■ : ][[.. 300 

Old Court House (Snelhng) 600 

Pest House (Merced) . 



18S1— Total State and county tax rate 

Total tax levied for fiscal year 1880-81 
wasS113 948 18. Percentage on de- 

S13.706 09 

$ 1,505 00 

15,473 28 

3,607 90 

160 00 

281 60 

132 00 

600 00 

1,507 98 

450 00 

2,000 39 

2,208 62 

6,433 36 
6 33 


Add to the above amounts the 

$134,970 59 
§19,081.18 and the $1,505 due 

•=*~jt sftissa*-- 

as a 

total interest 

The condition 

of the various 


in 1880 

, v from the following R - NTFum 

To balance in Treasury 

77 50 

will clearly 

$ 19,633 4S 

S114.S17 89 

-114,817 S9 

$ 21,081 18 

g 531 77 
2,669 67 

By w M r^tsouts t ^tog pEopEBTY - -^ ^ ^ 

To balance in Treasury .^ • ^^^ ^ ^ ^ 

To balance in Treasury ^. ^ 

m $ lo,o70 la 

To balance in Treasury 

By warrants ^ teten ^f GENT ' SI 'cK FUND. 

Bv amount overdrawn 

By warrants outstanding^ -^ 

Bv amount overdrawn 

I^«^a««-*^-^W i6o oQ 

To balance in ^ ur / 0USE B ond Vntebfst FUND. g ^ ^ 
By amount overdrawn. ....... ■■■ — ■ intE rest fund. 


To balance in Treaaury^-^^-^ L ^ 

Toamount in Treasury 

lmquent roll for the same year was 

SS69 71, making a total 

Paid as follows :— $98,836 89 

Cash collected ■ ■ ■ ■ ' 910 09 

Errors and double assessments ^ gg 

Sold to the State - - • •••••■ ■ ■ ■ ■ l6 58 

Uncollected on personal pioperty... • 
Sreyconected'underprotestrefunded 74 52_ 

Railroad Company dell ^ e ° C A y . UATI0N i 88 0. 

ACRES AND VALUATIUIS, xou ^ .§4,698,298 

Real estate ""[ 755,808 

Improvements ' ' 1,353,496 

Personal property . 


Total valuation " 1,260,000 

Total acres in county . . 152,267 

Aeresenclosed 190,007 

Acres cultivated^ ^ — —^ '^ 18 S0, 



Acres of Wheat.. -- 3Q 

Bushels of Wheat 13 127 

Barley, acres ■ 145 ' 927 

Barley, bushels > 2()0 

Oats, acres. 600 

Oats, bushels 5Q0 

Bye.acres.. 6 000 

Rye, bushels 399 

Corn, acres. 3 990 

Corn, bushels g6 

Beans, acres 

Beans, bushels 

Potatoes, acres 

potatoes, tons • 

Sweet Potatoes, acres. 

Sweet Potatoes, tons. 

Hay, acres 2 ,682 

Hay. t ona 40 

Hops, acres. x 600 

Hop3, pounds. . 6 

Irrigating Ditches m 

Acres Irrigated. 

Cotton, acres 

Cotton, pounds. . . 
Pounds of Butter, 
Pounds of Cheese 
Pounds of Honey 









Number of Lemon Trees " 

Number of Orange Trees »■ 

Acres of Grape "Vines ^ 

Number of Horses ■ 

Number of Mules ■■■•■■■ - ■ ■ *' 627 
Number of Horned Cattle..-- ^9,^7 

Number of bheep. ...... ■ ■ • •- Q0 

Number pnunds of Wool...i,ow . 
Number of Bogs. . . - - ■ - ■ ■ • - ■ v > & 

Water Power Grist-mills ^ 

Barrels of Flour made W.^ 

Corn ground ' j^ 

Cotton mills. 3(; 

Miles of Railroad g 657 

Population.. ,' 463 

Number of Voters 'i* 00 



Secrkt and Benevolent, and 
Literary Societies. 

Masons, Odd Fellows, Good Templars, Knights 
of Honor, Sons of Temperance, Work- 
man, etc. 

The county has a good class of inhabitants, and in habits of 
thrift and industry are far ahead of many other counties in 
the State. Society is, however, somewhat divided into groups, 
caused by the great mixture of nations and habits of life. In 
early times people were more united and harmonious in then- 
associations. The early settlers well remember the long trip 
taken to visit a friend. Since the organization of the county, 
the population has slowly but steadily increased. 


In early times society was disorganized, and disagreements 
among settlers were common, but of late years peace and quiet- 
ness have been the rule. 

In early times the settlers were without the thousand attrac- 
tions and comforts of a home, cut off from the pleasures of 
society and the association of ladies, living in hotels, boarding- 
houses, cabins, back-rooms of stores, offices, and, in fact, in all 
kinds of unattractive places. It is no wonder that the early 
miners and business men turned eagerly to the amusements 
of the day for the needed relaxation. Saloons, with their 
clinking glasses, convivial songs and inviting music, were 
among the first adjuncts of a new town. The miner, when 
his day's work was done, the merchant, when released from 
the busy cares of trade, the happy delver who had "struck it 
rich" and come to town to spend his "pile," a3 well as the 
penniless "bummer," all sought the cheerful rooms where 
music and liquor were plenty, and where the games of chance 
formed an attraction, even to him who simply watched the 
fitful changes of fortune. Music was in demand, and he who 
had any instrument from which he could invoke harmonious 
strains was certain to find an opportunity to do so for an 
ample remuneration. Violins, guitars, and other light-stringed 
instruments that were easily transported, were the first to find 
their way into the mining camps. The place that was able 
to secure anything approaching to the magnificent proportions 
of an orchestra was certain of an overflowing patronage. 

Gambling saloons were the first to don fine raiment ; even 
when in shake buildings with canvas walls, an attempt was 
made at ornamentation, to render them attractive to the eye, 
and inviting by contrast with the general crudeness of their 
surroundings. Church organizations were slow in forming. 
They came next after the secret societies. Among the first 
organized were those about Snelling, then the center of popu- 
lation and business for that section. 

I. O. 0. F. AT SNELLING, 1865. 

A lodge of I 0. F. was instituted in Snelling, August 
92 1865, by Messrs. M. Burton and M. Lovejoy. The name 
of 'the lodge was Willow Lodge, No. 121, and its officers were 
R. R. Leake, N. G.; N. Breen, V. G.; G. W. Robertson, Sec- 
retary; and George Turner, Treasurer. 


The corner-stone of the hall of Willow Lodge, No. 121, 1. 
O. O. F. at Snelling, was laid on September 3, 1869, in accord- 
ance with the ceremonies laid down in the ritual of the order, 
in a solemn and impressive manner. The surrounding lodges 
of Coulterville, La Grange, Bear Valley, Hornitos, and Tuol- 
umne City, were represented, and the people of Snelling were 
present in large numbers. J. W. Robertson, Marshal of the 
day, and John S. Williams, N. G. of Willow Lodge, took the 
leading part in the ceremonies. 

In a box enclosed in a niche of the stone was deposited the 
proceedings of the Grand Lodge of the United States, the 
constitution and by-laws of Willow Lodge, a list of the execu- 
tive officers of the United States Government and of the State 
of California, a list of the officers and members of Willow 
Lodge, a number of pieces of coin of different nations, a Con- 
federate States treasury note, a bill of the bank of New Orleans, 
a greenback, copy of the first number of the San Joaquin 
Valley Argus, and a number of other articles of greater or less 
note. At the close of the ceremonies an oration was delivered 
by Hon. W. S. Montgomery, which elicited the attention and 
interest of the large concourse of people present, and was con- 
sidered by many the principal feature of the occasion. 

MERCED LODGE, NO. 20S, I. O. 0. F. 

This was the first lodge instituted in Merced, on September 
21, 1872, at Levinsky Hall. Its present membership is 
seventy. The officers for the term commencing July 1, 1881, 
are: John F. Boyd. N. G.; William H. Herrington, V G.; 
Robert N. Hughes, Secretary; A. I. Rosenthal, Permanent 
Secretary ; L. A. Manchester, Treasurer: Thomas Parks, 
Warden; Nathaniel S. Rogers, Conductor; A. D. Turner, I. G.; 
Peter R. Murray, 0. G. 


Was instituted February 16, 1874. The present membership 
is twenty-five. The officers for the term commencing July 1, 
1881, are: Jamea Leonard, Chief Patriarch; John S. Heur- 
ford, H. P. ; L. A. Manchester, S. W. ; Robert N. Hughes, 
Scribe; A. I. Rosenthal, Treasurer; Nathaniel S. Rogers, J. 
W. ; John F. Boyd, Guide. 

Masonic Organizations. 

Probably the first Masonic Lodge organized in what is now, 

Merced County, was Merced Lodge, No. , instituted at 

Snelling on Saturday evening the twelfth of August, 1S65. 
E. G. Rector, W. M. ; S. P. Jackson, S. W. ; George P. Lake 



j W • J M. Strong, S. D.; N. L. Coats, J. D.j I. H. Jacobs, 
Treasurer ; W. Mayrs, Tyler; P. D. Wigginton, Secretary. 


The organization took place May, 1856, at La Grange, Stan- 
islaus County. Mining giving out, and the membership conse- 
auently decreasing, in the fall of 1873, it was removed to Mer- 
ced where it has continued to nourish and prosper, it now 
having sisty-three members in good standing on its roll The 
following are the officers for 1881 : Richard Langbem W. M- ■ 
James Leonard (P. M.), S. W. ; Kobert Gracy, J. W, Suas W. 
Geis (P. M.), Secretary. 


This Lodge was organized May 3, 1856 at which toe a 
charter was granted, and instituted in Murphy s Camp, Cala- 
veras County, California, where it remained un il 869, when 
it was removed to Snelling, Mereed County. I»1OT*™ 
ad moved to Merced, the county seat of Mereed County, 
IlTt yet remains. There are now enrolled as members 
Thirty-eight Royal Arch Mason, After the removal of the 
SL ^ Lm Snelling to Merced, its name was changed from 

Calaveras to Merced Chapter. 

The following-named person, a^eu^ officers ^ q ^ 
ending December 1881. 11 £. Jacobs, Treasurer ; 

hey, King ; S. W. Ge.s Scribe ^ n ^ g . mon _ 

A. Budt, Secretary; W. J. Hart^R R 

Prin. Sojourner; George H. Barheld ^ F fe q[ d 

bein, Mast, of Thrrd Van; F ^ M. btociaa n Guard . 
Vail; W. L. Silman, Mast of ^ *a^ d f ourth Wednesdays. 
N ghts of stated meetings, second ana ioui 

Temperance Societies. 

Among the nrsttcm T ance Xi=rt ^ 
Good Templars, organized at Snelling 

fall of 1863, and held its meetings^ £ ol ^ ^ 

Among the charter members were John! * e», ^ ^ 

, Ostrander. ^^mC cause - — « - 
for nearly sis months. 1 hen no ^^ 

surrendered, the books and papers sent back o 
Lodge, and thus ended the first temperance effort. 


c 4.U* 3nn S of Temperance was organ- 

I» 1869 a division of the Sons o P ^ ^^ 

ized at Snelling by J. Brown. It wa k mi _ 

Vision. The following ^^JL. Halstead, R. 
8on , W. P, Mrs. Eowena G . S^ ^ ^^ ^^ 

S.; Harry H. Granice, F. S , Treasury , , ^ 

t„ r , Robert J. Steele; Chaplain Jos eph Reason ■ ft 

were held in the Odd Fellows Hall, and^for ™ ^ ^ 

increased in number and popularity. Then cam 
discord and dissension. 

Another division was organized, known as " The Gem. 
Both met at the same building on different nights, and for 
awhile the people seemed to be temperance mad, when the 
membership began to diminish in number. - The Gem was 
the first to surrender its charter. The Snelling Division became 
so small in numbers and so impoverished financially, that it 
was thought best by the remaining few, to give up the charter, 
but one or two thought it might be brought up again. After 
a pleasant talk it was decided to meet at the residence of Mr. 
and Mrs. R. J. Steele, and the little band of nine, namely; 
James Minor, George Morton, Ira Dean, R. J. Steele, George 
L Granice, Harry H. Granice, J. Killmer, Rowena G. Steele, 
and Nancy Harrison. Met every Saturday evening in the 
dining-room. Daring the four succeeding months such a large 
number had been added that the dining-room would no longer 
accommodate them, and, with a membership of forty-seven the 
division was moved to Myers' Hall, where it continued to 

increase in numbers. 

In May 1869, an amateur troupe was formed from members 
of the division, and the play of - The Drunkard "was pre- 
sented with the following cast: Edward Middelton Frank H 
Farrar, Danger Cribs, J. Killmer, as Bill Douton; James Hal- 
stead, as Landlord ; Harry Bludworth, as Barkeeper ; Henry 
Latons, „ Mr. Renrelam; James Minor, as Mary Also Mr, 
Steele Mrs. Wilson, Peter Fee, Jr., Miss Spmdel and George 
L tonke "The Drunkard" drew two very large houses. 
Th! The play of "Pizzaro" and the farces of "TheBough 
Diamond/and "Bo* and Co*," were presented at different 
tL The hall had been fitted up with a good stage, wmgs 
a drop-curtain, and several well painted scene., at a cost of 
someU. Again the spiritof discontent insmaatedrtself among 
2 members and the division broke up. The aspirants for 
hltrionic fame were scattered before they had an opportunity 
^displaying their wonderful gifts or of developing into stars. 


T„the winter of 1872 there was an encampment of the 

Galoot the Bed Cross organized on Bear Creek, and the 

7,v meetings were held for a while in the little school house 

IhttCtL from where the town of Merced now stands. 

tL the summer of the same year the encampment was 

d to Levinsky Hall, which stood on the corner of Seven- 

, 1^X1 the Cosmopolitan Hotel nowstands. This 
teenthst^t, where V ^ ^ ^ ^ 

OTgamZa d daughter Its objects were temperance and mutual 

router ^initiation was grand and imposing, and 

] : km he degrees, of which there were four, was truly 
the work in the degie ^ ^ ^ 

- b,ime> :;rLTc:irdno!be P pure * ** ** 

cha mpion «»* . fc promised , and like ite 

X^irecaL of temperance, died from lack of 

i Lterial.some time during the year 1874 



O. G. T. 


On the twentieth day of July, 1873 ft. W. Q *j£ 
Wood, of Vallejo, organised the Merced Lodge of Good 1 m 
plars, No. 459, at Merced. The Mowing officers were M 
0. Landrum, W. C. T.; Josephine Blackburn W. V T Mrs. 
R. G. Steele, W. S, J. Walker, F. S, B. J- Steele, W. M. 

Upon this occasion the Merced Lodge was presented W1 h 
a Ml set of officers' regalia, once the property of the old Snel - 
mg Lodge. For several months the lodge met at the Methodist 
Episcopal Church. It afterwards removed to Levmsky Hall 
■ There ha* been but few deaths of members in the Merced 
Lodge Among the few who have passed away whxle mem- 
bers, none were more mourned or regretted than Miss Josephine 
Blackburn, the first Worthy Vice of Merced Lodge. Oh- 
young lady was born in Steubenville, Jefferson County, Ohio, 
in 1848, and from her earliest childhood until her death she 
was a zealous worker in the temperance cause; and as soon 
as a-e would permit she joined the Good Templars. It was 
through her influence and the efforts of Mr. C. Landrum 
that the Merced Lodge was organized. She was educated in 
both vocal and instrumental music, and usually led the sing- 
in* accompanying herself upon the organ, Although a victim 
^consumption and in very delicate health, she never missed 
a night during the six months that she was a member of the 
Merced Lodge. She had for several weeks been too feeble to 
sing, hut her sweet face, wreathed in angelic smiles, appeared 
each night until the last before her death. On the morning 
of the twentieth of December, 1873, without a sigh or moan, 
or sign of suffering, she passed from earth. The members, 
boththe sisters and brothers, in full regalia, marched to the 
grave and back, a distance of about three miles. The coffin 
was carried the whole distance by six young men. 

The lodge lost one of its most devoted members when Miss 
Josephine Blackburn passed away. She lies beside her father, 
Mr. John Blackburn, in the Masonic cemetery at Merced. A 
marble scroll, with the simple inscription, " Josephine," marks 
her resting-place. 

During the year 1879, it was thought advisable to organize 
another lodge of Good Templars at Merced. This lodge was 
sustained for about eighteen months, then there began to be a 
falling off of members, and those truly interested in the tem- 
perance work proposed to consolidate; this was agreed upon, 
and " May Lodge " gave up her charter and the two became 
one, and have since worked together harmoniously. The follow- 
ing'are the officers installed July 1, 1881 : Thomas C. Hunter, 
W. C. T. ; Miss Allie Wright, W. V. T; W. Sensebaugh, Secre- 
tary; Miss Jessie Peck, Treasurer. The lodge is in a flourish- 
in* condition, and has ninety-four members. It has made 
several generous donations to the Orphans' Home. Its influ- 
ence is good upon the community and a blessing to the pooi 
unfortunate drunkard. It is now the only temperance organi- 
zation in the town of Merced. 


Mr J M Brown, D. G. W. P. of the Grand Division of the 
Sons of Temperance of this State, organized a division of the 

V H Martin, Treasurer ; Frank Dusey, R. S. ; Robert L. Green, 
• Mrs Wilson, A. C; Mrs. Morril, I. S. ; Andrew Lander, 0. 
S.';' G. H. Warden, Chaplain; William Lander and P. T. 


I. 0. G. T. 

This Lodge was organized October 3, 1879, with twenty-five 
charter members. The lodge holds meetings every Saturday 
evening at Snelling. For two years it was a large and flourish- 
ing society. It now numbers but sixteen members. 


The organization took place September 17, 1880. The first 
meetin- was held in the old adobe saloon. The sweet, pure 
smile o^ Temperance, and the glad song* sung by sweet, clear 
voices, drove out the last lingering fumes which had been left 
among the cobwebs of the fiery liquid, which but a few years 
before had been dealt out and drank within its cool, inviting 
walls Where oaths, curses, and the vulgar jeer of the mid- 
night bacchanal had rung forth, the voice of thanksgiving 
and prayer was heard, and God sent his blessing on the 
devoted few and prospered them. The lodge was organized 
by Hugh R. Hughes. Its present membership is about thirty. 
The members are earnest and devoted. The lodge meets 
every Sunday afternoon. This lodge has, with its other good 
works, contributed something to the Orphans' Home. 


This order was organized March 17, 1881, and meets 
weekly. It is open to all, and has a large membership of men, 
women, and children. Its object is to lift the fallen of both 
sexes and to reform the drunkard. The entertainments are 
pleasant and inviting. John F. McSwain, President ; James 
Leonard, Secretary. 


The organization was June 5, 1879. The lodge holds its 
meetings in Los Bafios school house, on the west side of the San 
Joaquin River. The following were among the charter mem- 
bers : S. A. Smith, Oscar Smith, Alice Smith, Mr. and Mis. R 
Cheatham, Mr. and Mrs. N. Bibby, Mr. and Mrs. Brough. 
There were forty-two charter members. This Lodge has done 
a good work and has been a blessing to the neighborhood of 
Central Point. It has saved many a poor fallen drunkard and 
has proven a protection to the young men and boys. The 
gentle influence of woman has been felt, and the earnest prayers 



of the mother, ave that the Lodge may prosper. The follow- 
in,, officers were installed at the July installation: Wm.Ogden, 
W c T Anna Bobinson, W. V. T. ; Ward Cheatham, W. K. 
a! Wm.Bibby, W.F.S. ; Alice Smith, W. T.; W. Cheatham, 
W. M. 


Sentemher 23, 1878, this lodge was organized. The lodge 

• fnTZsperous condition, having at present a membership 
> in a pro pe ^ ^ wfch . q prop . 

0£ t 61g II2OO * ptlt officer, are, L.H. Abbott, W.C.; 

TlZlZl W T.; A. Lander, W. S, JamesPrice, F. S, 
Isabella Lander W ^ , Lq ^^ 

A. B. Vancampen, ireasuioi , 


hundreds who were in attendance. 


Collins, Secretary ; Miss Jessie Peek, Tieasu.e, 


Miscellaneous Organizations. 


Was instituted January 12, 1875. The present membership , is 
101 The officers for the term commencmg July 1. 1881, are. 
AH Danchy C C, W. H. Mitchell, O. C; Mark Howell, 
tefate WffiL P. Stoneroad, M. of E, Charles* Fleming, 
M o'f, Robert N. Hughes.K. of R.andS, J. F. Peck, M. A. 

V. A. O. DRUIDS, NO. 36. 

The following officers of Merced Grove, N. 36 » 
Order of Druids, were duly installed by D. D. G. A, J. 
Naiiger, on Friday evening, November 5th, for ensuing term. 
G Beu'ter.N.A, L. Killion, V. A, G. Galliano B. Se. A 

Sawyer, Treas, J. Nagger, C, C. PagganeUr, I. Q, 

Garibaldi, 0. G. 

, .,,, thi , Union a free reading room, 

There is connected with to Un ^ ^ ^ 

W hich is situated on Seventeenth st £ ^ ^ ^^ 

andl comfortable style and has , 3 ^^ 

volume, "iswellsu PP lred WI t« ^ 

pCT s. The Hnion and reading -« ^^ , fe , 

present officers are: Mrs. ^ • Powell , Treasurer ; Mrs. C. 

H. Beadly, Secretary, Mrs. Mary ^ ^ fe T E 

H. Huffman, Mrs. Sam King, M£ ■ ^ meetings 

P . Williams, Vice-Presidents The soc rO ^ ^ ^ 

monthly and is doing a & l0 ™" contribute generously 
The merchant,, mechanics and farmers 

toward the support of thereadmg^ ^ 

This movementrs one of great credr ^ q£ 

it and is worthy of a generous support from 

Merced and surrounding country. 


■ „,i «t Merced December 12, 1880, 
This league was orgaW Me-d, ^ ^ 

Pacific Coast, it navin ^ _ 

cau8 , Ubasa membe rsh^ f 2,^ to ^ 

rTh rHlrp"ident,andBev.MichaelMcNamara, 
Hon.Cha lesHMaU. ^ ^ ^^ at 

ESS -riverl hundred ticket, were sold at 
one dollar each. 


i. j t ,i« 09 1 876 with eighteen charter 
This society was started July 22, 18,M JI mem _ 

member. It, object is benevolence. It has now 
bevs . W. J. Qnigloy is President. 


T o 1873 this Order was organized with twenty-two 
June 9, 18/d, ™is ^ President s Patrick 

members, for benevolent objects. Its Pre 

BieUy. its present membership is forty-eight. 

MERCED LODGE, NO. 74, A. 0. TJ. W. 

posed or men of all trades an P constitution 

Vr UleS to b ;:~XrD:tothe P re 5 ent r 

°' - — f s": ThC;^ r- P— -m are as 
7Z I -- -nard, M W, W. L. Howell, F, T. O. 
Law Recorder; A. Rosenthal, Treasure, 

L0 S BANCS LODGE, NO. 193, A. 0. U. W. 


, Wt in the success of this association, and prosperity jiU 
doubtless attend the efforts to do good by mutual contributions. 


From the charter of this incorporation, dated August 7- 
1879 we make the following extracts: The purpose for which 
it is formed is to establish and maintain a cemetery at or near 
the town of Merced, California. The term for winch it is to 
exist is forty-nine year, The number of iU Trustees « 
Directors is six. The Trustees met at Garibaldi Hall immedi- 
ately after receiving the certificate, and elected the following 
officers: George E. Isaacs, President; Rowena G. Steele, Secre- 
tary Philip Rederson, Treasurer. The cemetery belonging to 
this association is the Asphodel. It contains about three acres 
of land, has been surveyed, and laid out in lots, walks and 
avenues. There is a neat fence on the front, with an arch and 
sliding gate at the entrances. The improvements have cost 
about S600. It has been self-sustaining, no contributions hav- 
ing been received. The association owes a little over one hun- 
dred dollars. Other improvements will be added this fall and 
winter. It is the intention of this association to improve and 
beautify this citizens' burial ground, and make it a pleasant 
resting-place for the dead. 


The first grange, under the title of Merced Grange, was 
organized in Merced County, in the town of Merced, May 3, 
1873. It was organized by State Deputy Baxter, and entered 
upon its mission with a charter list of twenty-three members. 
The organization is a secret one, the members being required 
to take an obligation that they will not divulge any of the 
business transacted at the meetings of the grange. No political 
or religious questions are discussed. The initiation fee was 
five dollars for males, and two dollars for females, which fees 
entitle the members to all the degrees; there was also a monthly 
assessment of twenty-five cents upon every member. 


Los Bafios Grange was organized September 13, 1873, with 
a full set of officers and the requisite charter membership. 

Plainsburg Grange was organized April 3, 1874, by H. B. 
Jolly, assisted by W. E. Elliott. 

On November 10, 1873, a grange, to be known as Cotton- 
wood Grange, was organized at the Cottonwood school house, 
by W. J. A. Wright. 

farmers' meeting. 

A meeting of farmers was held at the Court House, May 
17 1873, with Adam Kahl in the chair. A discussion was 
had in regard to the necessity for, and feasibility of construct- 
ing, a canal for irrigation, and some preliminary steps taken. 


Articles of incorporation of the Merced Grange Warehouse 
Company were filed with the Secretary of State in April, 
1874 Capital, $50,000, in shares of S100 each. Directors: 
Adam Kahl, Thomas Upton, W. P. Fowler, P. Carroll U 
Clay, W. E. Elliott, H. J. Ostrander, W. W. Gray, and John 
A. Perry. 


On the twenty-second of February, 1873, a Farmers' Club 
was organized in Merced with the following-named officers: 
President, Mr. Jolly; Vice-Presidents, Messrs. Gray and Beau- 
mont Secretary, E. R Elliott; Treasurer, W. P. Fowler. Later, 
in March of the same year, a similar club was organized at the 
Anderson school house, five miles from Snelling, with J. H. 
Payne as President, and A. C. Barbour, Secretary. 

A grange harvest feast was held at the residence of Augus- 
tine Smith in June, 1880, and a reorganization of the club 
had by electing Augustine Smith President, and Mrs. Clark 
Healy, Secretary, and the next meeting was to be held at the 

farm home of Adam Kahl, in July. 

The following is a complete roll of the names of the members 

of the Farmers' Club of Merced, at that date:— 

Mr Whelen and wife, A. Smith and wife, S. W. Heath and 

wife, J- A. Perry and wife, H. J. Ostrander and wife, M. D. 

Atwater and wife, C. Healy and wife, J. Mitchell and wife, A. 

Kahl and wife, B. S. Clay and wife, A. S. Fraser and wife, Mrs. 

E G Hall, R. J. Steele and wife,H. Bannerman and wife, Silas 

Bowman, John H. Allen, Mrs. A. G. Salter, Miss Marts, Mrs. 

L. Ellis. 


This society was organized January 26, 1881, by Mrs. B. F. 
Fowler and Miss Corrinne Anderson. The object, intellectual 
and social advancement. The plucky originators had a hard 
struggle for the first few weeks. But they worked on faith- 
fully until it became quite popular. Only a few months after 
its organization, these enterprising ladies had the pleasure of 
seeing the old Court House, their place of weekly meeting, filled 
to overflowing, and in the April following, by extra efforts, a 
sufficient sum of money was raised to enable them to purchase 
an organ at a cost of $157.50, for which they paid cash down. 
At their last election, August 30th, the following officers were 
elected: George Smyth, President; Miss Ella Montgomery, Vice- 
President; Mrs. J. J. Buckley, Secretary; Mrs. A. B. Anderson, 

The society issues a manuscript monthly paper, entitled 
The Snellvng Literary, devoted to soience, art and literature. 
The club is doing good work and has a promising outlook. 




Churches of Merced County. 

Date of Organization, First Members, Officers, 

Present Membership, Location, 

Present Condition. 


THE oldest religious soeiety in Merced County is the Methodist 
Episcopal Church South. It was organized as early as 1852 
The first sermon ever preached in the county was dehvered at 
the house of John Ruddle, in the fall of 1852, by the Rev. J. 
S L Wood The house was a stone cabin, and stood near 
where the house of William Silman now stands, about a mrle 
from Hopeton, on the Merced Rive, Shortly after hat, a 
Imp-meeting was held in that neighborhood. The followmg 
^ the Rev Mr.Gray wassent on the circuit. Then a muuster 
by the name of Griddly took the charge. 


In 1855, the Rev. J. G. Johnson preached thefirst sermon ever 
d eLed;nMariposaCree k ,atthehooseofM.A,redHarr.l 
and took charge of the circuit embracing Hopeton (Fo k,n 
Hope as it was then called), Mariposa Creek, and a small settle- 
S lid, is now the town of Plainsburg, andjso *e neigh- 
borhood of Snelling. The meetings were held at puvate 
residences and school houses. 


A camp-meeting under the auspices of the «rian 
Church commenced on Mariposa Creek on Thursday, g 
7 1865 The Banner says:— , 

'' .We understand that several good preachers are on hand 

Trin, to be used jointly as a scnou 
is still the property of these gentlemen. 


In 18 67 a 8m alUeat ^^"^\^ 
.U Episcopal Church South, a * ^^ ^ 
socie t y at Snelling, which .as ^^ A ^£ d to ^ 

There was a ^.-"^^S/.-n.oo. 
the ceremonies and listen to the exceu 


Select piece-Sung by the choir. 
Prayer by the Rev. W.Simmons. 

" Behold Thy Temple God of Grace," by the choir. 

Reading of the Scripture. 
" Lord of Host to Thee we Raise," by the choir. 

Sermon by the Rev. Mr. Simmons, of Sacramento. 

Dedication services closed with "We are Waiting, We are 
Watching," by the choir. 

The sum of $500 was collected towards removing the church 


There was a fine choir of singers connected with the church, 
among whom were Mr. H. Brooks, as leader; Miss Susie How- 
ell, as organist; Mr. Mark Howell and lady, B. F. Fowel and 
lady George Halstead and lady, Miss Chapman, Mrs. Skelton, 
Miss' Maggie McCready, Mr. M. Wood, William Turner, Wil- 
liam Bagsby, Mr. Comstock, F. H. Farrar, and others. 


The society at Merced commenced to build a fine church, 
36x60 but owing to lack of finances the work ceased. But the 
prospects at present writing are favorable, and the members 
say that it will be finished before the close of another year. 

Rev J K P. Peire is now in charge of the Merced and 
Plainsburg churches of the Methodist Episcopal South. He 
commenced his work at Merced on the thirtieth of Octeber 
1878 and by invitation, filled the pulpit of the Rev. R. M. 
Kirkland in the Methodist Episcopal Church, and on the 
following Sunday morning preached at Garibaldi Hall to his 
0W n congregation. The first year of his Merced work he 
alternated Hopeton, Merced and Plainsburg, but the last two 
years his work has been confined to the latter two places^ 
Rev. Joel Hedgepeth has charge of the Hopeton and Snell- 

%Jruary S 27, 1875, a congregation of Methodist Episcopal 
South was organized at Los Banos, on the west side of the San 
Joaquin River, Merced County. It is now under the charge o 

h ?Rev J. H. Neil, and has a membership of thirty and » out 
of debt Each of these churches have Sunday-schools attached 

o tL The Methodist Episcopal Church South is the oldest, 

the largest and the most wealthy religious society now m 

Merced County. 


This church was dedicated June 1, 1873. This was the first 

Meth dist (North) church that had ever been built m Merced 

Cot ty It was built by subscription, under the super^oo of 

Sev. George Star. The parsonage, a sma, cottage on the 

lot was also erected through the energefcc actmn of Mr. 

Z: It Situated on the comer of M and Twentieth streets 

T ■ , 26x40 frame house. Very little improvement 

" !, d un7l879. While the Rev. R. M. Kirkland had 

T he wStl assistance of his untiring wife, contribu^d 

iTttl appearance of the house and ground, The 



old cotton lining was torn out of the church, and a hard- 
finished wall took its place. The seats were newly painted, a 
balustrade was put around the altar, new carpet put down, and 
many other changes made for the better. A windmill was 
erected and trees, flowers, vines, and shrubbery set out; a neat 
fence put around, and nice gravel walks laid. It has now a 
neat, cool and inviting appearance. The society is small, not 
numbering over twenty members. Rev. J. W. Leach is the 
present pastor. There is a Sunday-school connected with the 
church, which has a good attendance. The church is free from 


This church was organized August 23, 1873. The Rev. John 
Creath was pastor, the number of its members ten. The meet- 
ings were held at the residence of John K. Law. Mr. Creath 
remained one year and was succeeded by the Rev. Ebenezer 
Halliday. The meetings were held at Washington Hall and 
Garibaldi Hall. One beautiful Sunday morning Mr. Halliday 
held an outdoor meeting on the west porch of Ei Capitan, and 
a large congregation was in attendance to hear this good but 
extremely eccentric man. His subject was Christian charity, 
and though several years have passed, that sermon is frequently 
spoken of by those who listened to the words of wisdom and love 
as they fell from the lips of this aged man of God on that clear, 
bright, spring morning. 

On the second day of December, 1874, a contract was made 
between the congregation or Trustees and Alfred W. Burnell, 
builder, for the erection of the outer portion of a church build- 
ing, the cost of which should be §3,500, and to be completed 
by March 1, 1875. The contract was faithfully complied 
with, and Rev. Mr. Halliday preached the first sermon therein, 
and continued to preach every Sunday until 1877. In Sep- 
tember of the same year, the Rev. Harlan P. Peck became pas- 
tor, and preached at Garibaldi Hall until February, 1S79. The 
contract to finish the inside had been let to C. H. Huffman, and 
in June, 1877, he sub-let the contract to Marsh & Lappham. 
The first services ever held in the church after the inside was 
finished, -was the funeral services of Charles Henry Huffman, 
Jr., January, 1879, upon which occasion the large house was 
filled to its ntmost capacity. 

The dedication of the church took place on the ninth day of 
February 1879. The dedication sermon was delivered by the 
Rev. W. A. Scott of St. John's Church, San Francisco. The 
Rev. H. P, Peck remained in charge until April 3, 1881. The 
church was then without a pastor until June 19, 1881; at that 
time the Rev. George W. Lyon took the charge. The church 
is a large and substantial building. The interior is very beau- 
tiful, being finished with a vaulted roof, decorated with exquisite 
paintings in large and delicate designs. The church cost some- 
thing over S7.000, and is clear of debt. There is a large and 
thriving Sunday-school attached to the church, of which Mr. 

John K. Law is Superintendent. The membership is thirty; 
the average attendance fifty. The minister receives Sl.000 per 
year salary. 


The Catholic Church in the town of Merced was dedicated 
October 26, 1873, with Father MacNamara as pastor. It is a 
neat structure, built of wood, 35x54 feet, and cost $3,- 
400. Its membership is over 200, all of whom are active, 
devoted, and united in their church work. Father MacNamara 
commenced his church labor in Merced, Mariposa, and a part 
of Stanislaus Counties, in 1870. He has a neat and commo- 
dious dwelling adjacent to the church, which, with the other 
improvements and lots, cost S4.000 ; making in all church pro- 
perty, not including the large cemetery, worth §7,400. The 
church is clear of debt, and in a prosperous condition. Father 
MacNamara is much beloved by his congregation, and highly 
respected by the citizens of Merced. The ladies of the above 
society have held four church fairs, which have netted several 
thousand dollars. 


The Society of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church was 
organized September 16, 1864, and held their meetings on 
Mariposa Creek, with O. D. Dooly as pastor. In 1879 a church 
building was erected at Plainsburg, and the following Trustees 
appointed: Luke Peak, Jocob Lewis, T. J. Anderson, S. V. 
Turner, and C. A. Sage, with Rev. Mr. Compton pastor, who 
is still in charge. In 1877 a large and beautiful church was 
built by the Cumberland Society of that town, and dedicated 
on the first of April of that year, with E. McLean, pastor. 
Trustees, C. Landrum and F. Farrar. At present writing, 
1881, the church is closed, there being no pastor to officiate. 


The Society of the Episcopalian Church meets once a month 
at Garibaldi Hall, Merced. This Society was organized in 
1880, has a membership of twelve, with an attendance of 
about thirty. The Rev. W. L. Mott holds services on the 
fourth Sunday of each month. There is a choir of good 
musicians attached to this society. 


There is a Chinese house of worship in Merced, situated on 
the south side of the railroad, and near the business part of 
the town. It was built in 1875, and cost S1.000. The out- 
side is fancifully decorated; the interior is like a museum of 
Chinese curiosities. Meetings are held four times a year. 
The society employs no priest. It is in debt several hundred 



The Criminal Records. 

History of some of the Chief Criminal Events 
Oeeuring in the County. 

THE records show that Merced has had no more than its share 
of crime since its organization. We give some of the prin- 
cipal criminal events occurring in the history of the county, as 
well as suicides, accidents and similar matters:— 

This murder was by a band of six Mexicans and occurred in 
the month of July, 1854, Mr. Pryor had been suffering from 
chills and was confined to his bed on the day preceding the 
night of the murder. Mr. and Mrs. Pryor lived in a lonely 
place on the south side and near the Merced River, and about 
one mile and a half from what is now known as the Lee Ham- 
lin place; but at that time owned and occupied by H. J. 
Ostrander, and over a mile from the farm-house of Mr. Wmn. 
On that fatal July evening Mr, Pryor had attended to the out- 
door work, and had closed the doors for the night after busying 
herself with getting the evening meal. She had just taken a 
t tea and Mother deiicacies to the bed of her usband^ 
and had sat down to her own lonely supper, when she heard 
he sound of approaching horses and subdued tones of many 
nu man voices. She flew hastily to the door and was me t by 
six Mexicans, all armed. They rushed into the house : aU w a 
confusion ; in her terrible alarm she tried to reach the bedside o^ 
her husband; she heard one of the men say something to 1 m 
in Spanish ; at that instant she saw his head fail hack upon th 
pulow ; the cup and plate fell to the floor, and t e same — 
he heard the report of fire-arms; almost senseless he fl w to 
a little out-house, where she was pursued ^y - °~ 
One of them asked her something m Spanish. &n 
enough to know that he was asldng her for money. Ttaew 
six hundred dollars in gold in the house, but ^e -i ated to 
answer when one of the men drew his gun upon hei , a young 
" Mi Dios, no m aUHa m ^-W ^ ^ 

While this was going on in the °« ^ 

ceeded in finding the monej, ^^»^ ^^ 

her with a strong cord, and left hex wi . 


i;,:Lto T earto^id rC: — J— 
the crime went unpunished. ^ ra - C1 J U u , 

tZ, Griffith, a wealthy farmer, -»/£■ *J£ 
happily until her death, which took place on the 2d of No«m 
ber, 1880, in the sixty-fourth year of her age. 


1862— Jane Oliver was killed by her husband, J. A. Oliver, 
at Gwin's Ranch, some six miles below Snelling, about ten 
o'clock, a. M., Thursday, Jaly 9, 1862. The parties for- 
merly had much trouble, and for a short time had not 
been living together, and as they could not agree upon 
terms of a°final separation; their troubles were brought before 
the County Judge, in chambers, on Tuesday, by Oliver suing 
out a writ of habeas corpus for the purpose of obtaining the 
custody of the oldest child. The suit went against him and 
the children-one aged three years and the other about four 
months-were remanded to the care of the mother, who was 
adjudged by the court to be their proper custodian. 

After the decision was rendered Oliver went away on the 
sta*e in the direction of Hornitas, and returned next day by^ 
the same conveyance. On arriving there he took a horse and 
proceeded to the ranch. When he entered the house, a Witness 
states that he picked up one of his children and kissed it In 
a few moments Oliver and w4fe were seen to go to the barn 
together, and, soon after, the report of a pistol was heard, and 
Oliver was seen running out of the barn. When the witness 
entered the barn, he found Mrs. Oliver lying on her face quite 
dead, and a gunshot wound in her left breast and a pistol in 
her hand or lying near her. An inquest was held by Justice 
Breenin the afternoon, and the jury rendered a verdict in 
accordance with the above facts. 


Joseph A. Oliver, the wife-murderer, after a fair and im- 
partial trial, was found guilty of the above crime by a jury 
of his peers, and sentenced by Judge Burke to pay the penalty 
of the dreadful deed by serving the People for ** years in 

the State's Prison. . 

Joseph A. Oliver, the convict, had the appearance of being 
inte hint, and a few years since he accepted an agency from 
Z Overland Mail Company and located in Texas, where h 
real aco.uain.dwiththisbeautif^he— atta^d 

u- onrl thpv were married, and, use a uuu, 
Iv '^i^left the scenes of her girlhood h Mends 
and former companions, and came with her husband to this 


186 3_AmannamedPeter Tetsor.was found deadabout one 
• above Merced Falls in March, 1863. When the body was 

i- QT ,r1 Hip skull-bone was mashed. 
b T;Tu -fthat deceased was walking upon the edge oi 
the CM and that the stone gave way, precipitating Inm to the 
bottom together with the rocks. 



1865— December 2d, John S. Watts, was indicted in 
this county for cattle stealing in March, but his trial was re- 
moved to Fresno County, and he was convicted and sentenced 
to the State Prison for two years. 

1868— The County Jail was without a tenant in September, 
therefore we judge that crime was seldom committed by the 
people of this delightful valley. 

October 10th. Judge Belt met a tragic death in the 
city of Stockton. He was familiarly known throughout the 
San Joaquin Valley. In his sheep ventures, he being a large 
stock-raiser, he was associated with a man named Denis, who 
it is alleged largely furnished the capital invested in the busi- 
ness. Denis was an old man, petulant and self-willed to the 
last degree, and fiery and ungovernable in temper. It is not 
asserted that Belt's dealings with Denis were tainted in any 
degree with fraud, but Denis was not satisfied with the way 
in which Belt had managed their joint interests, and a vexa- 
tious lawsuit and much ill-feeling was the result, with rumors 
of threats in each quarter. 

In the fall of 1868 Judge Belt was visiting Stockton, where 
Denis lived, and while walking in company with two friends 
on El Dorado Street one day, Denis stepped up behind him 
and placing the muzzle of a derringer pistol close to Belt's 
head, fired, instantly killing the object of his hatred. It was 
asserted by the friends of Belt that he died without seeing the 
one who shot him. Denis was arrested, and after the law's 
delav, having been defended by eminent counsel, was convicted 
of manslaughter and sentenced to ten years' imprisonment in 
San Quentin. As he was nearly seventy years of age at the 
time of this occurrence the sentence was looked upon as equiv- 
alent to a life term, and so it proved, for he died within the 
walls of the prison a few years since. 

To show the monomaniacal virulence of the old man's temper, 
it may be mentioned that pending the preliminary examina- 
tion he was admitted to bail, and while at large upon bail his 
conduct was so violent and his threats against the friends of 
Belt so pronounced, that his bondsmen became fearful that he 
would commit some further deed of violence, and they there- 
fore surrendered him. He then, in custody, turned upon his 
bondsmen and swore that if liberated he would kill them too. 
It is a fair inference that passion had made him insane. 

1869 — November 16th. The skeleton of a man was found 
in the foot-hills, some three miles above Merced Falls; sup- 
posed from the hair and color of the skin to be that of a Mexi- 
can, and a rope attached to the limb of a tree near by, told 
plainly the means by which the unfortunate's career on earth 
was brought to a close, but disclosed not the names of the 
parties who are guilty of the terrible crime of hanging him in 
secret, in the midst of a howling wilderness. The remains 
were collected and buried upon the spot where found, closing 
forever the history of the unknown dead. 

1870 — December 24th. James H. Cox, County Assessor of 

Merced County, was shot and killed at the house of a Mexican, 
named Jesus Peralta, of the south side of the Merced River, 
a few miles below Snelling, December 24, 1870. The Mexican, 
Peralta, went to Snelling early next morning, and surrendered 
himself up to the Sheriff, acknowledging the shooting and 
pleading justification. 

He was examined before L. W. Talbott, Justice of the Peace 
of that township, and acquitted. Though the testimony of 
the witnesses was considerably confused, all agreed upon the 
principal facts attending the shooting; and the facts did not, 
in the opinion of the Justice of the Peace, warrant the holding 
of the accused for trial, and he was set at liberty. 

1872 May 21st. Matthew "Welsh and Charles Bowman, the 

former awaiting trial for the killing of A. J. Atwell in 1S70, 
and the latter awaiting the action of the Grand Jury for hav- 
ing entered Abbott's Hotel, at Plainsburg, and robbed the 
proprietor of a small sum of money, sawed through the doors 
of the county jail at Snelling, on the night of May 21, 1872, 
and made their escape. 


1874 — The Board of Supervisors were indicted for "willful 
and corrupt misconduct in office," by the Grand Jury of the 

The prosecution was conducted by District Attorney D. 11. 
McKenney and Wm. L. Dudley, Esq., and the defendants were 
represented by Wigginton & Marks, J. K. Law, W. W. Porter 
and R. H. "Ward of Merced. The case was submitted to the 
jury at about half-past nine o'clock P. M„ Friday, and about 
four o'clock P. M., on Saturday, the jury returned a verdict of 
"Not guilty." The case was conducted on both sides with 
great ability, and the testimony was principally documentary. 

The following persons formed the jury: M. Snyder, John 
Upton, Thos. M. Fulton, N. S. Drew, John Fieldhaus, M. D. 
Wood, H. C. Maddocks, "William N. Neill, Wm. Collins, J. S. 
Shaffer, E. T. Givens, L. B. Dillon. 

1876 — August 5th. Reno, the young man who was confined 
in the county jail at Merced, for shooting John Stanton, 
escaped for the second time from the prison on Sunday after- 
noon, August 5, 1876. The remaining prisoners, eight in 
number, remained in the jail with the door open until the 
Deputy Sheriff came, at 5 P. M., to give them their dinner. 
Although Merced County boasted of a strong prison, capable 
of holding the most desperate and adroit breakers, yet there 
had been two or three escapes since the time the new jail had 
been used, owing to the oversight of the architect or builder 
in putting an insecure lock upon one of the doors leading into 
the main room of the prison. 


1876 — August 20th. Three of the prisoners confined in the 
County Jail — Geo. Williams (colored), Jo. Carey and John Mc- 



Grath— effected their escape by taking one o{ the iron doora 
off one of the cells and prying the front jail door off its hinges. 
Two of these prisoners, Jo. Carey and John McGrath, were 
recaptured August 20th, near Turlock, and brought hack to 
!,il Constable C. B. Ryer, of Turlock, and C. Stowers, of the 
Half-way House, between Merced and Snelling, captured Jo. 
Carey When found he was hid away in a hay-stack,.and 
when ordered to come out he refused to do so. Constable Rye- 
went up to him and dragged him out, when he showed fight, 
but at this juncture Mr. Stowers drew his pistol and threat- 
ened to shoot if he did not surrender, which he did without 
further parley. Farmer Bitter captured McGrath. 

1878-January 3d. A terrible tragedy occurred near Mc- 
Swain's Ferry, on the Merced River. A quarrel arose between 
Mr Silas McSwain, George Bell, and a brother of Mr. Bell, about 
some hogs which had been troubling Mr. McSwain. During 
the controversy George Bell shot and fatally wounded McSwain 
The shooting took place some time during the afternoon, and 
the wounded man died at eleven o'clock the same night. George 
Bell and his brother came to Merced and gave themselves u P 
to Sheriff Meany. The prisoners had an examination before 
Justice Breen, and were held over on the charge of murder to 
await the action of the Grand Jury. 

The saddest part of the unfortunate affair is that these men 
were friends, and all had been known as peaceable, quiet citi- 
zens, and there was a deep sympathy feltfor all **" 

Mr McSwain belonged to one of the oldest and most highly 
respectable families on the Merced. 

1878-January 12th. Another sad tragedy occurred on the 
Colour ranch! on the Merced River, in winch William 
G ffith was shot and instantly killed by a man by th^ na e 
Samuel Watts. It appears that several men had met^ at the 
house of Watts, among whom were David Snman, William 

"wiwT^aring supper for - company ^ 
dispute arose among the men, who had all been imbib m ve y 
freely of wine. During the dispute several *" ^ 
Davfd Silman was shot through the arm, "^ 
the side, and Griffith, we believe, in the ^J^ 
instantly expired. *-^«££E William 
was brought over and confin Un M ^ ^ ^ 

Griffith was a son of one ot the pionee 

The town heing situated in one of the finest wheat-growing 
regions of the State, and in the center of the county com- 
menced at once to make rapid progress, which has continued 
to the present day; it heing now conceded to be one of the best 
business and most prosperous and progressive towns on the 
Pacific Coast. 

It has many very beautiful buildings, both public and 
private, too numerous to be described in detail in this work, 
but we mention a few of the most important. The surroundmg 
country is filling up with actual settlers, and the town is 
increasing in extent and importance every year. The follow- 
ing is a history of the town from its foundation, and covering 
the principal events of importance in its history:— 


On the eighth of February, 1872, the Contract and Finance 
Company of the Central Pacific Railroad sold at auction to the 
highest bidder, in lots varying in size from 25x150, to 50* 
150 feet, most of that portion of the town where now stands 
the business houses. The price paid for these lots ranged from 
$125 to S500 per lot. 

Previous to the said eighth day of February, 1872, the Ra.l- 
road Company had surveyed and staked out the entire ground 
upon whil now stands the town, into lots 50x150 feet in size 
After the day of auction sales, the most desrrable location for 
business houses having been disposed of, no further auction 
sales were had; but a map of the town was drawn up, wluch 
showed a division thereof of two distinct sections. 

The division was shown by use. of what is knownas the red 
jfce " This division was made by the owners of the lots to 
designate the prices thereof, they (the owners) holding all ots 
within the red line at a higher figure than those without it, 
on account of location. 


The first sale was one-half of a lot to John C. Smith, then of 
Snellin. for §575. He still occupies it. The second w» the 
"haii of the lot to Silas 1. Simon, for 9, £-g 
SI 070 for one lot of 50x100 feet. The remainder of the lots 
^brought less prices, yet all went at very high figures for a 
n tw tow°n on the plains. A very large crowd of peopk, 
"tended the sales, there being a great many from San F, an- 
1 11 Sacramento, Stockton, Modesto, and other towns and 
X below, in addition to heavy delegations from Mariposa. 
Snelling, MUlerton, and Visalia. 

History of Merced City. 

t „f thP towns in the county, and is 
Merced is the largest of the town 
situated near the center of the county on^ the San ^ 
Valley branch of the Central Pacific Radroa fi y «g 
from its junction with the Centra *-» „ ento , 
152 miles from San Franc.sco. and llo miles 
the State Capital. 


j- > w „fta- the auction sales, people from all parts of 
«, W « — oegan to purchase lots suitable for 
' ut dweUings upon, and commenced their- erection. 
Ta^rtspLof time, say six months thereafter the 
pile whl one year before presented but a houseless plain, 



began to assume some of the attributes of a thriving village. 
With the progress of time the town has been steadily increas- 
ing both in population and wealth, until to-day it may be 
ranked as second to but one town in the great San Joaquin 


The town is laid out on a section of land purchased in 1S70 
by the Contract and Finance Company, which was then an 
adjunct of the Central Pacific Railroad Company. It is, there- 
fore, one mile square. It is divided into blocks. An alley, 
twenty feet wide runs through the center of each block, afford- 
ing easy means of ingress and egress to the occupants. Fortu- 
nately for the inhabitants of the town, it was located in a 
healthy place, on high, sandy, dry ground. 


On the first of February, 1872, the railroad had a temporary 
hotel in operation. But in April following, to assist in accom- 
modating the increasing travel, the proprietors of the El Capitan 
Hotel, then in course of erection, secured a palace sleeping 
ear for the use of patrons. It was switched off on a side 
track, near the temporary hotel structure. At this time, 
Charles S. Evans had a restaurant and lodging-house. These 
were the only houses of entertainment at that time in the 


Messrs. "Washburn, and McCready, as early as February, 
1872, had erected sheds to serve as a livery stable. George 
Powell had opened a drinking saloon; A. M. Hicks had also 
opened a meat market. Besides the. buildings mentioned, there 
were a number of tents and board sheds put up, for accommo- 
dation of carpenters, and other workmen, giving the place the 
appearance of a new mining camp of early days. 


The following is a list of all the business houses in Merced 
in March, in 1872:— 

Dixon & Leach, drug store. 

J. J. Cook, drug and variety store. 

E. Shainfeldt, general merchandise. 

J. Kocher, tin and hardware. 

C. E. Lewis, Merced House. 

Harry H. Granice, proprietor Merced People. 

S. Simon & Son, groceries, hardware, furniture, etc. 

M. Goldman, general merchandise. 

S. Wyatt, Metropolitan Restaurant. 

Davis & Son, general merchandise. 

George Morton, painter, etc. 

Hicks & Sawyer, butchers and meat market. 

J. Hunter, blacksmith and wheelwright. 

McDonold, blacksmith shop. 

Nelson Rolfe. saloon, "Oregon." 

Fred. Bowman & Co., Merced City Restaurant. 

Washburne & McCready, livery stable. 

M. McClenathan & Co., livery stable. 

Henry Deljohn, salcon. 

J. A. Adams, billiard saloon. 

Jacobs & Goldsmith, meat market. 
Meany & Peck, builders and contractors. 
M Poffgi, dealer in fruit and vegetables. 
S C Bates, postmaster and express agent. 
In addition there was the Railroad House, in which there 
was a barber shop, post-office,' express office and telegraph and 
sta^e office. This house was only intended to accommodate 
transient custom till the El Capitan could be completed. 

But few private residences had been erected. No lawyers or 
doctors had yet put in an appearance. Justices and Consta- 
bles were only known by tradition. No churches were in ex- 

In May, 1872, the Supervisors formed Merced into a new 
district and appointed M. Smythe, Justice of the Peace, and 
Thomas Patterson, Constable, and in August they appointed R. 
Simpson an additional Justice, as the township was entitled to 
two Justices. 

A county calaboose was completed in September, 1872. In 
architectural appearance the building was not prepossessing, 
but what it lacked in that direction was compensated for in 
strength." Every attention was paid to the security of its 


Merced City was set off as a school district in 1872, but 
owing to some informality the district was not legally created, 
and in September a school was started by private subscription. 

Among the first of the private schools established in the town 
of Merced was one of which Mrs. French was the teacher. It 
was successfully conducted and largely patronized. The next 
school established was one of which Miss Fannie Ward was the 
teacher. The public school at Merced opened July 21, 1873 
Scholars of the higher grade were taught by Mr. Geis, and 
all others by a Miss Chapman, in the old school house. 


S. C. Bates was the first postmaster at Merced, in 1872. He 
was also express agent. J. D. Craighton had been acting as 
postmaster, but was not a resident of the county. Mr. Bates 
has ever since the starting of the town been one of its most 
active and useful citizens, and engaged in various business 
enterprises of great advantage to the town. 

He now occupies the position of President of the Merced 
Bank. In our illustrations will be found a view of his resi- 
dence, one of the finest in the village, surrounded by thrifty 
shade trees, and supplied with modern improvements, which 
makes it one of the pleasant homes of Merced. 


Abraham Rosenthal is among the oldest merchants of the 
county. His residence is represented in this work. 

Mr. Rosenthal was born in 184(1, in the town of Dobzes, on 
Vistula River, Russian Poland. Having received a liberal edu- 
cation in his native town, where ho lived with his parents until 



he was sixteen years of age, he, in 1857, left Russia in order to 
avoid the service in the army, a very unpleasant situation for a 
man of education if oblige to enter the lines as a private, and 
went to England, which country he left after a short stay, to 
emigrate to America. 

He came directly to New York City, where he stopped for a 
few years, making himself useful in various vocations. In 
1861 Mr. Rosenthal made up his mind to go to California, and 
letting the action follow the intention, he took passage on a 
vessnl to the Isthmus of Panama, and thence to San Francisco, 
where he arrived in 1861, after a voyage of twenty-three days. 
He soon after came to this county and located in Merced Falls. 
We here reproduce his business advertisement of that date:- 

nrices and on as liberal terms !w.«ijr_u 3 ;„„„ irn n reives that we ar 

UO0M, OUU«», "".-". - "r ■ ■ t) j in tlm aectlOll 01 Wiw iwu..«j . 

^fjMJS-S^*^ and « votive. *■* « ™ 
SgbuS 01 » good terms as any other bouse. ^ ^^ & c „. 

Merced Falls, July 5, 1862. 

In 1873 he married Miss Betsey Goldman, a native of Rus- 
sian Poland, and is now the head of a family of three children, 
whose names are: Simon, Belle, and Esther Rosenthal. 

Mr Rosenthal is an active, wide-awake, business man, who 
takes great interest in the advancement of the town which he 
t JU - his home, and is a valuable addition to the c,U 
zeD s of Merced. As of o.d, he is supplying the pubic wtth 
Z goods in his usual polite and gentlemanly way, a prices 
:1L to the times. All who want a coat, pants, vest, shut, 
or any goods unmade should call on him. 



The churches in Merced have met with encouragement, and 
as an evidence of such fact we saw the spires of three or four 
large, roomy buildings pointing toward Heaven. To see 
beautiful church buildings, and many of them, is always an 
evidence of the prosperity of a town. 

Another evidence of the prosperity of Merced town and 
county, and one which the people should feel proud of, rs the 
Court House, which, when its builders are dead and gone, will 
be a standing monument to show to the after generation that 
in the year 1875 Merced County contained men who were alive 
to her best interests. The grounds are tastefully laid out 
according to the rules of landscape gardening and as a pubhc 
park it is now fast becoming a place of resort for all There 
are a great number of other buildings which add to the archi- 
tectural beauty of the town, but which cannot be described here 
for want of space. 

June 1 1874, the Board of Trustees adopted the plan of M, 
June i, loi , avc hitects competed for the 

corner of M and Twenty-second streets. The 

to James Fowler, of Oakland. Douglass, 

James Martm, and Chailes M rf %wm 

advertised for and recei e d*fc ta V^ 

bonds for the purpose of erecting ^ ^ 

bids were offered, one foi So.000 ^ 

and one for 810,000 at cent. 

accepted. The payments to be in ^-j£ (w9) , and 

annually, payment to commence after five y 

bear interest at the rate of ten per cent pe ann 

This tine brick school house was -mp^d ^ 

and now Merced has a large and commo^u s ch o 

« <wn (WO This house contains six iuu r 

cost of over 820,000. 1 t inconveme nce. 

of accommodating over fifty pupils ^ mQst 

Four of these rooms are finished with 
approved style of school furniture now in use. 


In July 1872, Messrs. Wigginton, Blair & Co., engaged in 
banking at Snelling, removed to the town of Merced, and mcor- 
1; under the name of the Merced Bank, with temporary 
Lrtersin the El Capitan Hotel. Articles of incorporat on 
affiled in 1875, and the following are the names o the 
^rpltors: John M. Montgomery, Charles M^ Blair, Isaac 
H ".cob. Samuel C. Bates, John Ruddle, Patrick Carroll and 
Sam Dickinson. The property and business of the private 
,"„, -_ f Wi-inton, Blair & Co. were merged mto 
,: "Ik The following persons were e-d as the first 

r^^rt-chairr^^ 'rh 

was erected for the purposes ot the bant, 
^Ih^r^lnagers are men of known integrity 
an!". Less capacity, and the affairs of the bank are conducted 
I nstrictbusinessprinciples. Read their advertisement. 


1 88 1. 





a A. M. to i P. 61. 


&-SBfSSS^.:::»:""=::: iSSS BBS-. 

Boo Comspoodcot 







In February, 1872, M. McClenatlian began the erection of a 
livery stable, which was pushed to an early completion. Mr. 
McClenathan is still engaged in the livery business, at -what is 
known as the "El Capitan Stables," on Seventeenth Street. 

Yo Semite and other tourists will find them prepared to 
furnish teams at their stables in Merced for any point in the 
mountains, with careful and experienced drivers, at reasonable 


Jacob Kocher is a pioneer merchant of Merced. He was 
among the very first to locate in the new town. He has the 
largest and most imposing brick business house in the town. 
The upper floor is let as offices, and the rooms are well adapted 
for that purpose. 

Mr. Kocher deserves great credit for his business enterprise 
and sagacity. He made money by hard labor and strict 
attention to business. He does not hoard up his money, but 
believes in all improvements that will help build up his town 
and surroundings. He is a live man, and believes in adver- 
tising his business. See his card: — 


Offera to Ms patrons a large, well assorted and carefully selected 




Of the Latest and most Improved Patterns. 

Pumps of Every Description. 

Paints, Oils, Varnishes, Window Glass, Brushes and Dusters. 


Crockery and Table Glassware, Table Cutlery and Plated Ware. 

Agent for Mowers and Reapers, "Wagons and Carriages. 

An Association was organized in June, 1874, with Dr. J. 
C. O'Neill, President; J. L. Reidy, Secretary, and Hugh 
McErlane, Treasurer. The object was the erection of a hall 
for public use. The building was erected on the corner of 
Seventeenth street, 40x100 feet, and a grand inauguration ball 
was held July 4th, although the building was not then com- 


The first tire company in the town of Merced was organized 
November 8, 1873, with the following officers: President, 
Charles E. Evans; Treasurer, I.H. Jacobs; Secretary, Ohas. H. 
Marks; Foreman, E. Madden; Assistant Foreman, J. R. Town- 
send ; Second Assistant Foreman, W. Fahey. 


John C. Smith, the pioneer, and purchaser of the first lot in 

Merced, has a place of resort that has no superior on the Pacific 
Coast. As you enter the main saloon you throw open a pair of 
heavy swinging doors of black walnut, the upper portion con- 
sisting of heavy frosted French-plate glass. On the transoms, 
cut in glass, is the monogram " J. C. S." The bar-room is 
twenty-five feet long by twenty-three wide. The attention is 
at once directed to the counter, which is constructed of the 
finest quality of California laurel, highly polished. The back 
shelving is of the same material as the counter, surmounted by 
a handsome mirror, lavishly embellished with glass and silver- 
ware. The statuary and lamps are of the finest attainable. 

In the rear of the saloon the first room entered is the billiard- 
room, 25x30 feet, which is very tastely furnished and the walls 
adorned by fine paintings and engravings, and supplied with 
valuable newspapers. 

The dressing-room has three doors of entrance. One from 
the street, one from the dining-room and one leading into the 
neatly arranged back yard, from which is wafted by the balmy 
breeze, the redolence from roses, honeysuckles and other beauti- 
ful flowers. The apartment is fitted up for the accommoda- 
tion of ladies coming in from the country or on the cars. There 
are four private rooms for ladies or families, and beautiful 
and unique panel pictures decorate the walls, which are orna- 
mented with fine gold and bronze paper. The wood-work is of 
beautiful design and artistically grained. Each window is fur- 
nished with inside shutters. 

In the rear of the billiard-room is the dining-room, 14x34 
feet, and for style and finish will compare with many of the 
most fashionable in the cities. A private dining-room connects 
by sliding doors, which can be thrown open, and families or 
parties can occupy the suite. 

The kitchen is sixteen feet square and twelve feet high, 
finished with a wainscoting of alternate red and white from 
ceiling to floor, the stripes running sidewise. The shelving, 
closets, drawers, are what an old-fashioned, neat, prim house- 
wife would call handy. 

The saloon and restaurant surpasses anything of the kind in 
the history of interior restaurants. " Johnnie Smith," this prince 
of hosts, has ever made it a study to make his surroundings 
distinguished for grandness and beauty. 


This corporation was organized March 12, 1S75, with a capi- 
tal of 8300,000, in shares of $100 each. The first Board of 
Directors were: Josiah Belden, A. W. Bowman, W. A. Aldrich, 
E. Perkins, S. C. Biglow, C. H. Huffman, J. K. Law, and M. 
Goldman. The Bank erected a brick building on the ground 
formerly occupied by M. Goldman, in which to carry on their 


The hotels of Merced cannot be excelled anywhere outside 
of the larger cities in California, either in point of structure or 




G)| X? 



h. c 























U. O 

en « 






a ^ 








The El Capital* is known the world over. It was erected by 
the Railroad Company and was ready for occupancy soon after 
the town was started. It is a monster building for an inland | 
town It is the starting point for stages for Yo Semite. It as | 
situated immediately upon the railroad, and forms one of the 
principal and most imposing features of the town. It has large- 
splendidly furnished, well-lighted and comfortably ventilated 
parlors, bedrooms, suites of rooms, etc., upon the first, second 
Ld third floors. Upon the ground floor were the express and 
post-offices of the city, a large billiard room, bath-rooms, sbav- 
in ff and hair-dressing saloon, private club-rooms, barroom, oys- 
ter rooms, telegraph office, reading rooms, assembly room for 
guests and clerk's office, dancing hall, and a capacious dining- 
room all presided over by H. A. Bloss, whose fame as a hotel- 
keeper is truly world-wide, he having entertained guests in 
We numbers at his hotels during the last seven years from 
every civilized country known upon the habitable globe. 


Fahe/s Tuolumne Hotel, Seventeenth Street, Merced, is one 

of the best appointed and kept public house, in the « 

Thestructure is of brick, roomy and well ventilated The 

kitchen and dining-room are models of neatness, and a well 

eeed system prevails in every department. The I umiture rs 

o in f et better than in many much more pretentious es ab- 
sents, and all the .ate improvements for the accomm od. 

tion and convenience of guests are found here. £ "7-J 
pleasant reading-room adjoins the barroom, separated by swmg 

L doors There has been added a billiard table to the 
The Tuolumne is justly popular, and giowing 


ced. The foundations were laid Septemb 
£or business December 2d of the same yea, "^ 
ing of substantia! build and has^a wi e ^^ done 

S^r:i- - the 
first day by M. A. Moran as proprietor. 

dwellings, rendering it almost a paradise, and presenting to the 
view of the weary traveler, as he approaches from the high- 
lands, from either the north or south, a scene unparalleled for 
beauty throughout the entire country bordering on the Pacinc 

Coast. ... 

The valley being a part of, and the largest tributary of the 
San Joaquin Valley, is of more than average fertility, produc- 
ing a greater variety of products than any other portion of the 
great valley of which it forms an integral part. 


The site of the town was first settled upon and the land 
taken up by Dr. David Wallace Lewis, John M. Montgomery 
and Samuel Seott. A. sketch of their lives and adventuies 
will be found under the head of " Pioneers.' 


The last-named party seeing the eligibility of the place, built 
a larce hotel and opened a house of entertainment early m the 
p^g of 185!, which was kept by Dr. Lewis. Hefirst opened 
bliness in a brush tent, which answered the purpose inn* th 
large wooden structure, afterwards known as Snelling s Hotel, 
was completed. 

History of Snelling. 

S „ theformer county seat -^J*^ 
ated on the north bank of ^f*™™" The land 
sixm i,e S of theheadof ^^lyZ* were with 


The Snelling family, from whom the town derives its name 
Jv d at thft place early in the fall of 1851 purchased the 
"perty and continued its possessor a number of years there- 
I ter The lady after whom the town of Snelling was named, 

Jin Missouri on the fifth of June, 1863, agedseven y year, 
Xs Snelling was the owner of the laud on which the town 


faculties of a strong order. 


I„ 1856 the town of Snelling was laid off and permanently 
» were erected, and it became a nourishing and grow- 


t ■ w of 1861-62 the old Snelling Hotel, Judge 

W ere destroyed by the "* fl * ^ md the land 

^aCST^^i r 1th of the place for 
surrounding the tow ^ ^ ^^ 

It ^"t Me'ed'^the pioneer newspaper of the 
iX, w— d from the press, with K J. Steele and wife 
as editors. 



The Banner gave place to the Merced Democrat, edited and 
published by Wm. Pierce, alias Wm. Hall. The Democrat 
was published three weeks only, when its career was brought 
to a close by the arrest of its editor and publisher, and his 
imprisonment at Aleatraz. 

fire! fire!! fire! !! 

Atl o'clock Friday morning, September 12, 1862,afire broke 
out in the back part of the carpenter shop and sash and blind 
factory of Frank Peek, on Lewis Street, and in a few moments 
spread to Prince's Hotel on the east, and to Goldsmith's store 
on the west, destroying the entire block — comprising the prin- 
cipal business part of our town. Nothing was known in regard 
to the origin of the fire, but it is known to a moral certainty 
that it could not have been accidental, or the result of care- 
lessness on the part'of any of the citizens. It could not but 
have been the act of a most cowardly and villainous incen- 
diary. About two-thirds of the population were rendered 
houseless and penniless. 

The following were the losses, as near as we can ascertain: — 

F. Prince, hotel, furniture, bar fixtures, etc., S7,000 or 38,000. 

W. Myers, Arcade Billiard Saloon, $2,000. 

J. Weisbaum, shoe shop, stock of leather, etc., 8400, 

Solomon & Co., restaurant, $2,000. 

Henry Skelton, storehouse and fixtures, Si, 000. 

F. Peck, carpenter's tools, etc., 8500. 

Grimshaw, carpenter's tools, S400. 

Judge Fitzhugh, building, $700. 

Simons, Jacobs Ss Co., damage to goods, S3,000, 

A. A. McDonald, paints, etc., Si 00. 

Goldsmith'merchandise, S6,000. Insured, for S6.000. 

The sufferers by the conflagration, says the Banner, have 
commenced "to rebuild, and in a few weeks our town will pre- 
sent quite a respectable appearance. Some of our citizens are 
making arrangements for building fire-proof houses, and the 
prospect now is that before winter sets in Snelling will be built 
up more compact, and with better and more substantial build- 
ings than ever before. Several gentlemen have been herefrom 
La Grange— business men— who, we understand, came here 
with a view to the purchase of lots upon which to erect busi- 
ness houses. We believe that there is no place in the country 
which offers better inducements than Snelling for the invest- 
ment of capital in almost any class of business, and we are 
truly pleased to see the attention of business men turned in 
this direction. We are satisfied that the country surrounding 
this town would support two more dry goods and clothing, 
and at least two more grocery stores than were here before 
the town was destroyed by fire, handsomely and well. All 
that is required to bring hither large and profitable trade, is 
the assurance to the people of this valley that they can obtain 
their supplies of dry goods, clothing and family groceries at as 
low prices as the same classes of goods are selling at Hornitos 

and other interior towns. Heretofore the residents of the 
Merced Valley have had to send to Stockton or Hornitos for 
not only their groceries, but also for their dry goods and 
clothing, there not being sufficient inducements held out to 
the people by the merchants here to keep the trade at home. 
The residents of Merced County are prosperous farmers and 
stock-raisers, some of whom count their lands by hundreds of 
acres, and their herds and flocks by the thousands and tens of 
thousands. Can any one, then, fear that a well-established 
business of any kind in Snelling, the county-town of the 
wealthy county of Merced, will languish for want of pat- 
ronage ? We say not. Any man competent to conduct a mer- 
cantile business successfully in any locality in this State, 
will see at a glance that the offering of well-selected stocks of 
goods at reasonable prices would, cause sufficient trade to cen- 
ter here to build up a large and prosperous inland town. 
Already there are two good and well-stocked livery stables, 
two wagonmakers' shops, an excellent blacksmith's shop, a 
butcher shop, a boot and shoe shop, three carpenter's firms, a 
printing shop, all of which (except the latter) previous to the v 
fire, were driving a profitable business. There were also an 
excellent hotel, a restaurant, two stores, and a saloon, and not 
one of them complained of a want of patronage. 


In response to our invitation through the Banner, a few 
weeks since, to families to come and settle in our pretty and 
promising little village, the following highly respectable and 
useful families have concluded to make Snelling their future 
home: Mr. and Mrs. Rector, Mr. and Mrs. Anderson, Mr. and 
Mrs. Basse, Mr. and Mrs. Martin, and Mr. and Mrs. McDonald. 
The above families bring with them some fifteen children.— 
Contrary to our advice, one young bachelor has ventured to 
come, and has already commenced the practice of law. As he 
has been in California but a few weeks, we take him on pro- 
bation for one year; if he does not redeem himself from the 
stigma of bachelorism, by taking to himself a wife in that 
time, we shall politely request him to pass on. 

We have become an advocate for the future growth and 
prosperity of Snelling, and we intend to labor zealously to 
accomplish the work, and we ask others of more influence to 
come out and assist us. Here, as far as the eye can discern, 
are leagues of rich land, much of which is uncultivated; our 
beautiful river ripples idly by; but we hope to see this beauti- 
ful prairie dotted all over with neat cottages and farm-houses, 
and fields of golden grain waving in its richness; and also to 
hear the clank of the busy mill on the bank of the Merced, 
which will afford employment to the industrious of both sexes. 


The town had four stores, three saloons, one hotel, one livery 
stable, two blacksmith shops, two carpenter shops, one wheel- 



W right shop, one tin shop, one barber shop, one printing office, 
and one school house. There were four lawyers, two doctors, two 
surveyors, one school teacher, three printers, two editors, four 
blacksmiths, three carpenters, two wheelwrights, one shoe- 
maker, one barber, and loafers, bummers, and hangers around 
in proportion. mING A GiY T0WN , 

According to the Boomer, Snelling must have been a lively 
town in 1870. It says:— 

-Snelling has been in an unbroken spell of gayety and pleas- 
ure mingled with dancing, visiting, confectionery, toys, smiles 
ra ulic,song 9 ,laughter,turkeys,n 1 incopi & s,frosted cake, lectures 

presentations, trees, happy hearts, lovely faces, coquettish 
glances, rich dresses, sparkling jewelry, heavenly forms, con- 
Lsts stolen kisses, weddings, sudden recoveries, unrumpled | 
pillow-cases, fire-crackers, hand-organs, serenades tramp of 
\ i „ftW wheels merry iests, hearty hand-shakmgs.chil- 
ffi "SftKU -"oned with the sound of miniature 
musical instruments. 


The advent of the railroad in the eenter of the valley and 

:it^^— -l"sine,andeonse 
; h rowlhof silling™ retarded, and it is now a qul e 
luntry town, the courts and county busmess having 
removed to Merced in 1875. 


The Merced Woolen Mills were first set in operation in 1868, 
and did a large business until they were destroyed by fire. 


While the machinery was in full motion, a fire broke out in 
the pick room of the Merced Falls Woolen Mills, April 1, 18/2- 
It was impossible to save any of tbe machinery, but con- 
siderableof the manufactured goods were thrown out of the 

windows. .. , 

The fire also reached Nelson's flouring mill, which was filled 

with grain and flour. The whole, structure was burned to the 

ground. The loss was at the time estimated as £ollows ' g - ^ 

Woolen mill, building and machinery ^-' 000 

Stock on band, wool and finished goods j 


Total g y goo 

Nelson's mills, buildings and machinery g ' 00() 

' Stock on hand, 100 tons grain and Hour 


Total 'J ...535,000 

Insurance on woolen mill 55 g 

« " flouring mill 

As this place is one of the hest «^ ^f^ 
Joaauin Valley, at one time t was a P - a f° ofteQ 

business, and the few old pioneers who s d remai . 
heard telling of more prosperous days-day^ 
hoasted of having the oniy «£»■» 1 ^ m that p ^ ^ 

eountry ; when barley » a > 5 prices t was impossible to 

dollars a barrel, and even at those pu 

5lippl y the demand; days ^^l^L, and 

blast, and when the woolen m. 1 was run y ^ 

tne long rows of adobes was lined « ^g * ^ 

mU , runs but part of "^ly a thing of the past; 
exceeds the demand. The touna y j ChinamaQ is 

the adobes have lost their occupants, and the 
monarch of the factory. „ described 

T1 , erection of Nelson I, *--«£ ^J t: _ 
on page 145. The following is the old adve 

mto nnder-lgned having J^^jJSSS^U *• !■*■ •— "* 

1 would bag tav . t. >£°™ ffiXwing low pr.ce.i- 25 crats ? w.U.n.urefod"»rk 


The flouring mills of Messrs. Nelson & Son, at Merced Falls 
2 ; rebui, g on a larger scale than ever. The budding is 
70x30 feet in size, and two stories above ground wrth a base 
meat The frame is of heavy and strong Umbers, and the 
m achinery is of the most approved Muds. The water-power 
"te best in that section of the State, and the are 
enabled to turn out a superior quality of flour. 

^ mu still has a large trade in the mountains and ** 

a d marfce to- ^ ^ fi£teen to twenty 

^elieTe range of the Stoc.ton and San Francisco 


r^ny^Srper 10? pound. 

.25 cents 
" 12i cents 

October 16, 1862. 

i- „ n f the Merced Woolen Mills were 
irticles of incorporation of the merceu 

7 t . iu 1374 for the purpose of manufacturing all 
entered into n 1374 P ^.^ ^^ 

klnoso f -oien,in-d a vs were P . D . Wiggm- 

ta shares of 3100 ,* ^ R Q _ ^ James 

ton, Simon, Jacobs & U>., J .J* 

Morton, Fred. 1W«. A- * «£*£ ^ Ingalsbee , C . S . 
The Directors were r*. D. vv i OC3 i» 

,.*, i.». »-- "i 1 ,^; pi, ,.«.... .«- 1™ 




have a very superior water-power and are now doing a 
ness to the full capacity of the mill. 


This place is located west of Snelling, on the Merced River. 
It has a small church, school house, store, hotel and a few 
shops. In October, 1866, the post-office was established and 
the department authorized the postmaster " to employ a suita- 
ble person to transport the mail from Selling's Ranch at the 


It is 

rate of (S8) eight dollars per annum, once a 

place was known in early times as " Forlorn Hope." 

surrounded by a rich agricultural country. 

Plainsburg is a small village in the southeastern part of the 
county, on Mariposa Creek, formerly known as Welch's store. 
It is surrounded by a rich and thickly-settled country, and 
gave promise at one time of becoming an important business 
place. The railroad, unfortunately, was located some miles 
from the town, and of course much business necessarily goes 

The village is composed of quite a collection of houses, among 
which is a store, a blacksmith shop, one saloon, and a hotel. 
Half a mile further to the eastward was the store of Mr. 
Albeck, the pioneer merchant of the place, who had a hand- 
some stock of goods, and seemed to be doing at one time a lively 
business. Plainsburg is situated in the heart of a nourishing 
settlement of farmers, and the day is not far in the future 
when it will become a place of considerable importance. 
A writer, who lately described the place, says: — 
" Plainsburg is a beautiful little place. The thrifty shade 
trees seem to have stolen away the first syllable of its name — 
plains. The town has seen busier times, but none more peace- 
able. There is only one saloon in town. Several houses, at a 
a day not far off in the past, which were called dead-falls, have 
fallen dead. The little saloon, which in 1872 was started by 
"William Fahey, and called the 'boss* shop of the town, is 
enrobed with cobwebs from top to bottom. The white ribbon 
temperance wave slackened business, and almost destroyed the 
whisky traffic." 

Unfortunately for the prosperity of the town the railroad 
was located a few miles distant, and thus business became 
divided between the station called Athlone and the old village, to 
the detriment of its prosperity and growth. 


This little village was started in 1866 and at one time 
attracted considerable attention. It was situated on the San 
Joaquin River, above the mouth of the Merced River. A store 
was established by the Messrs. Simpson, which supplied the 
people with dry goods, groceries, hardware and other necessa- 
ries. The place supplied the best landing for steamers on the 
east bank of the Joaquin of any other point in the county, and 
was then the natural outlet for an immense trade. 

The place is of easy access from all parts of the county south 
of the Merced River, and in future years must necessarily grow 
to be an important shipping point, as so many industrious 
farmers find this a natural outlet. It was laid out in lots by 
Mr. Hill in 1868. 


This is the chief business center of a large section of country 
on the west side of the San Joaquin River. The town is sup- 
ported and maintained by the agricultural interests of the 
(rreat " "West Side," which district contains within its limits an 
area of the most fertile soil in California. The stock-raising 
interest also contributes largely to its support. The town has 
shown fresh signs of progress within the last few years. A 
new stimulus has been added by the carrying out of the irri- 
gating project of Miller & Lux and others. Canals have been 
cut through the region of country surrounding, causing the 
brightest hopes and prospects for the future. 

Los Banos is supplied by a mail line on the old route from 
Gilroy, which connects with the railroad at a point in Fresno 
County, by way of Firebaugh's Ferry. Another line from 
Banta comes up to Hill's Ferry. From the latter place to 
Los Banos, a distance of twenty-two miles, there is no mail. 
A stage line runs from Merced to Los Banos by way of Ches- 
ter where there is a hotel and ferry, illustrated in this work. 

h. Thornton's hotel 

Is ready to accommodate friends and guests as usual. The 
hotel is large, neatly furnished, and so well arranged and con- 
ducted that the most particular would feel at home. From 
the large veranda many extensive views of the surrounding 
country may be obtained. 

B. SCHEELINE keeps the chief stock of merchandise in that 
locality. He does a large trade with the surrounding country 
"We give a view of his store and the hotel, looking up the street. 


Superior Judge Chas. H. Marks 

Sheriff. A. J. Meany 

County Clerk Jno. H. Simonson 

County Recorder and Auditor J. F. McSwain 

District Attorney Frank H. Farrar 

County Treasurer W. J. Quigley 

County Assessor "W. B. Aiken 

County Surveyor J. "W. Bost 

Superintendent Common Schools E. T. Dixon 

Coroner Dr. H. N. Ruckev 


District No. 1 W. L. Means 

District No. 2 Thos. Upton 

District No. 3 N. Bibby 

Regular Terms on the first Monday of February, May, August 
and November. 


Fifth Senatorial District, composed of the counties of Merced 
Mariposa and Stanislaus — Senator, D. M. Pool. 

Assemblyman, from Merced and Mariposa, J. W. Bost. 


rts^-Z^i^*^ - 


Mrs. Rowena Granice Steele was born in Goshen, Orange 
County, June 20, 1824, and went with her parents to the City 
of New York in 1830. Came to California, w r ith her two 
children, in 1856, to join her husband, who had preceded her 
some three years. Domestic trouble of a sad and sorrowful 
nature, caused her to change the names of her two children, 
Harry and George, from the name of their father to that of her 
own maiden name. Her husband died in San Franeisco, in 
1859, and she was married to Robert J. Steele, in 1861. 

The San Francisco Chronicle of May 1, 1881, under the 
heading of " California Authors," pays the following tribute 
to Mrs. Steele : — 

This lady, who was almost one of the California pioneers, 
and has led a most laborious life, is a tall, brown-haired woman, 
with sweet, gently molded face, and a suspicion of skepticism 
creeps over the hearer when told that she was born in 1S24-, 
and is now nearly fifty-seven years of age. Her maiden name 
was Rowena Granice, and she is a native of Goshen, Orange 
County, New York. In the year 1S30 her parents removed to 
New York City, and she was educated in that place, receiving 
her education mostly from her mother, a highly cultured 

woman, who was left a widow, with a large family of little 
children. In 1S46 she was married, and ten years later came 
to California with her two little boys, and supported them and 
herself by her literary work. 

She wrote domestic stories for the Golden Era, which were 
collected and published in 1857, under the name of " The Family 
Gem." " Of Victims of Fate," a later production, an edition of 
5,000 copies was sold, for California stories were appreciated 
at home in those early days, and every miner in the State 
sought copies. Subsequently, she published a story which 
attracted considerable attention at the time on account of its 
references to events of Broderick's life, and her latest books 
are called "Leone St. James," and "Within the Meshes." She 
was married in 1861 to R. G. Steele, a well-known rural 
journalist, and has been for many years associated with him 
in editing and publishing the San Joacpjin Argus at Merced. 

She has been an active worker in the temperance cause, and 
a leader in the woman's suffrage movement in the State, but, 
in contradiction to the popular idea on the domesticity of such 
women, her home at Merced, under her own personal supervision 
and care, is said to be an ideal of neatness, comfort and beauty. 
One of her sons, a promising and gifted boy, died a few years 
a<n>. The other is studying at the Stockton Business College. 



The subject of this sketch was born in Smithfield, Madison 
County, New York, October 7, 1825. His father, Alexander 
Ostrander, was the youngest son of Alexander, who had emi- 
grated from Holland to Washington County, New York, about 
the year 1720, where Alexander, the father of Harvey J., was 
born, being the youngest child of his parents. Harvey J. was 
also the youngest son of his parents, which accounts for the 
length of time composing the generations of the family from 
the arrival of the grandfather in the New World from Holland. 
Mr. Ostrander's family name in Holland was "Von Stronder," 
but became changed in the new country to the present one of 
Ostrander, but at what particular date is not known to the 
members of the present generation. 

Mr. H. J. Ostrander was brought up on a farm in his native 
country, and received a common English education in the 
common schools and academy. He followed the occupation 
of farmer until 1849, when he came to California by way of 
the Rio Grande, and across the country through the northern 
States of Mexico to Mazatlan, on the Pacific, and thence on 
board the ship Dolphin for San Francisco. But after beating 
up the coast for a long time without making much progress, 
provisions and water became exhausted on board the vessel. 


Mr. H. J. Ostrander, together with some forty-five oth- 
ers of the ship's company, were landed at a point on the 
coast of Lower California, about 300 miles southward of San 
Diego, with an allowance to each passenger there put ashore, 
of one pint of water and one day's rations from the ship 
(jerked beef), there being no house, road, trail, or any sign of 
human life whatever in sight, and no guide to lead them in a 
direct course to the point of their destination, save the coast 
and the sun, moon and stars. The country was a perfect 
desert, without fresh water or anything to support human life, 
save what could be picked up from the sands on the beach. 
From the point of debarkation they proceeded on foot, carry- 
ing their arms and baggage, with their slender allowance of 
jerked meat for six days, each one casting away blankets, 
guns, and clothing, as they became tired and exhausted with 
hunger, arriving on the sixth day of their pilgrimage at a 
spring, where some Mexicans had left a broken-down horse, 
which they killed for food. After eating of the horse-meat 
thus providentially obtained, a council was held, and all but 
four of the party of forty-six weary and starving gold-seekers 
determined to rest at the spring and jerk the remainder of 
the meat to carry with them upon their journey. Having been 
compelled to subsist upon brackish water and a very small 
quantity of jerked beef for six days in a torrid clime, the 
fresh water and plentiful supply of meat obtained at the 
spring induced them to seek the rest their wearied limbs 

required. Mr. Ostrander, and three others of the party, 
pushed forward, each with a small quantity of horse-meat 
to sustain life on the road; and finally, foot-sore and weary, 
arrived at the Mexican village of El Rosario, where they 
found provisions and water in abundance, and were not 
long in fitting out a relief party of Mexicans to go to the 
aid* of their companions with gourds of fresh water and 
provisions; the Mexicans being induced to perform this act of 
kindness by the stories of the throwing away on the road of 
guns, pistols, blankets, and clothing, by the starving Americans, 
They were not long in reaching them and affording them 
the relief they so much needed, aiding them to overtake 
their more resolute companions at the village of El Kosario. 
One of the party died at the springs from colic brought on by 
excessive eating of the meat of the horse. 

After a short rest at El Rosario the party started out on 
foot reduced to a very limited amount of cash, and bought 
horses and saddles on the way at villages, and finally reached 
San Diego, where all except Mr. Ostrander and one companion, 
named Fred Hoffman, concluded to wait for passage upon a 
vessel to San Francisco. Mr. Ostrander and Fred Hoffman 
started out on foot, and reached Los Angeles with the pro- 
ceeds of the sale of a horse, Mr. Ostrander had sold for sixty 
dollars in San Diego— minus their expenses — having bought a 
horse for seven dollars on the road before reaching that place, 
and were soon remounted, buying horses at ten dollars each, 
upon which they proceeded up the coast to Los Angeles, after 
being initiated, at the ranch where they purchased their horses, 
into the mysteries of mustang breaking, Mr. Ostrander being 
thrown four times the first day. From Los Angeles they con- 
tinued their journey up the coast by way of Santa Barbara to San 
Jose, and thence to Stockton, where they expended their 
remaining cash capital for a small quantity of ham and hard 
bread, and lost no time in starting out for the mines on the 
Tuolumne River. They reached Hawkins' Bar, on the Tuol- 
umne River, a little over six months from the time of leaving 
New York, and remained there, mining and merchandising 
from July, 1S49, until the fall of 1S50. From Hawkins' Bar, 
Mr. Ostrander went to the Merced River, in the month of 
October, and settled on the south side of that stream, opposite 
Snelling. Here he attempted to plow and plant a crop, but 
the season was too dry. He purchased beef of Scott & Mont- 
gomery, hauled it to the mines, and peddled it out in the min- 
ing camps. He pursued this business some two or three months. 
He then went to buying cattle in Santa Cruz and San Luis 
Obispo Counties, and drove them to the mines. He pursued 
this business for nearly two years, using his ranch near Snell- 
ing as his headquarters. 

In the winter of 1851-52, Mr. Ostrander went back to Mad- 
ison County, New York, and on the eleventh of August, 1852. 
was married to Miss Lydia A. Wheeler, of the same county, a 
cousin of Vice-President Wheeler, the lady being a native of 



Jefferson County of that State, ami that Winter returned by 
steamer to San Francisco, by the Nicaragua route, and reached 
his Merced River ranch in January, lS-VS. At this time Wm, 
Lee Hamlin, to whom Mr. Ostrander had sold a portion of his 
ranch, was about purchasing a small flouring mill and steam- 
engine in Stockton, and they formed a partnership in the pur- 
chase and erection of the mill. They ran the mill and farms in 
partnership for one year, often grinding grain brought from 
Visalia, a distance of one hundred and twenty-five miles, when 
they divided the farm and went into partnership in building a 
water-mill, taking Dr. Dickenson, afterwards drowned while 
attempting to ford the Merced River near the mill, into the 

firm with them. 

On the eleventh of July, 1853, Frank Merced Ostrander, the 
first child of Harvey J. and Lydia A. Ostrander, was bom, 
bein* perhaps, the first white child born on the Merced River 
in Merced County ; the family now consisting of four sons and 
one daughter, all of whom are grown, and were born at the 
same place. He continued in the milling business with Messrs. 
Hamlin and Dickenson for one year. 


He then turned his attention to farming, gardening and 
fruit-raising, together with raising of stock and m 1854, 
sowed the first field of alfalfa ever planted m Merced County ; 
and in 1855, put out the first orchard and vineyard planted in 
the county. He also dug the first irrigating rtch rn-th 
county. He continued farming, gardening and fruit and 
Icklising until 1805. He added a band of sheep toft, 
stock department of his ranch in 1861. He sold 1 stan 
orchard and vineyard to John A. Robinson In ad,h ion 
carrying on the sheep business, Mr. Ostrander bought 1,000 
head of beef cattle of J. M. Montgomery, in the summer 
18 6 4 at ten dollars per head, which he drove across the 
nmlntains to be fattenedfor the California markets. 
T 865, the cattle men bought up the land upon whrci 

i^C££ :rilevariousfiock 9 of sheep that 
were being driven into the valley. 


and dug the first well ever ^ ^ 

the creeks, and about m.dway betw een M P & 

Creeks, finding an *>°°*f "**£ £ ivom the surface; 

hand of ^;XJ^^^^ 
thus demonstrating the y ^^ 

onthe dry plains independent of *f^ ^ immedi . 

by the stagnant pool, in the beds of h s earn 

aLy after he bought four sections o, *= sec . 

Creek, some ten nnles from the town o.Vluccd, 

tion six miles east of Merced, upon which he built his present 
family mansion, and entered into the business of wheat-farming 
and sheep-raising upon a large scale. In 1885, on selling out 
his farm on the Merced River, he moved his family to Santa 
Clara to obtain better educational advantages for his promising 
voung family, where they resided for two years, when he 
moved them back to his old home in New York, and placed 
his children in school at Union Springs, and after a time again 
moved them to Ithaca, whore the boys entered college where 
the family remained until 1874, when they returned to Cal- 
ifornia, and located in Oakland, where the boys were placed m 
the State University at Berkeley ; Mr, Ostrander, in the mean- 
time, continuing his farming and stock-raising enterprises with 
average success; and in 1876 moved to his farm home east of 
Merced with the whole family, where they continue to reside. 
Politically, Mr. Ostrander is a Republican; was a Union 
man in time of the rebellion, and kept the American flag 
flvin» at his home opposite Snelling throughout the great 
struggle, it being the only flag kept unfurled to the breeze 
between Stockton and Visalia, during most of that time. He 
W one of the three Republicans who cast their votes for 
General Fremont for President, in Merced County, in 1856 
and cast the only Republican vote polled at Snelling at that 
election for the Republican ticket. In 1876, Mr. Ostrander 
was placed upon the Republican ticket for elector from this 
Concessional district, and met with the electorial college to 
casUhe vote of California for Hayes and Wheeler. 

Mr. Ostrander has ever been progressive in spirit, as was 
manifested throughout his entire career. He started the , first 
gang plow ever used in Merced County, in ISoG a three- 
gang plow, bought of Matteson & Williamson, in Stockton, 
L which he paid S150; and has kept up with the improve- 
ments of the age to the present time, harvesting a great part 
ot his great grain fields the past two seasons with a combined 
header and thresher. From the time of starting out rom h- 
native home in the State of New York, in 1849, we find him 
a pioneer and a leader-leading his fellow-sufferers out of the 
7 nl and sendin, them succor in Lower California; a 
^ "n a ei d an e d n m»,hant on the Tuolumne River, where 
L undertook and accomplished great mining enterprises ; a 
' ioneer farmer, miller, fruit-grower, gardener, sheep-raiser, and 
P Id aler on the Merced River ; a pioneer in Republicanism 
n he ny; a pioneer in opening up our great plains for 
".In ettlement, by demonstrating the feasibility of obtau, 

™ter bv digging shallow wells upon our high and 
lnp „e water h3 g ^ ^ ^ rf ^ who 

^present and succeeding generations; and is, in fact, made 
rf the stuff that composes great men. He is temperate m his 
habits in good health, of stout build, and robust constitution, 
Ogives promise of yet a long career of usefulness among his 
fellow-citizens of Merced County. 


fifteen bushels to the acre. On the farm » kept seven hors* 
We. cattle, ho g s, and other live-stock. The faun » favorably 
^uatedboth for residence and business, bemg only one-half 
mile from church and school, at Snelling. 

Isaac C Grimes was bom March 14, 1841, in Randolph 
Cou t , Missouri. He was married to Miss P. F. Baker, m 
1871 who was a native of Boone County, Missouri, and je 
to California in 1864. They have two children, named War- 
ren Cunningham Grimes, and Lanora Queen Grimes. 

His early life was spent on his father's farm in Missouri, 
and at the breaking out of the war, in 1861, be joined the 
southern army, but was soon after prisoner at Glasgow, Mis- 
souri, and taken to St. Louis. Here he remained a prisoner 
four months, on usual scanty prison fare. 

In 1863 he came to California by overland route, consuming 
ninety days in the trip, and reaching Stanislaus County, in 
September, 1863, where he first stopped. Nothing of much 
importance occurred on the overland journey. 



The beautiful foot-hills of Mariposa County are known as a 
fine grazing -round for cattle and all kinds of stock. Some 
3 000 acres of this land (all enclosed), twenty miles from the 
county seat, belong, to M, Francis Marion Pa e a man of 
pluck and endurance, whose history we arc about to relate 

Mr Pate is a native of Alabama, having been born in Decatur, 
August 2, 1824; he was brought up by bis parents, Stephen 
and Rboda Pate, until he was fifteen years of age, at winch 
time (1839), he showed his spirit of adventure by joining Jack 
Everett's rangers, of Texas, serving in that position until 842. 
Afterwards he lived in Harrison County, Texas, untd 1846 
When the war with Mexico broke out, he joined the Second 
Regiment of Texas Mounted Riflemen, in which he served 
until after the battle of Monterey, where be did good service. 
He then served in Lamar's company in G. Hays' regiment 
until the close of the war, but not without being spared to go 
through the perils of another battle, that of Buena Vista. 

In 1849 Mr. Pate left Texas for California, crossing the Rio 
Grande March 13th of that year, and coming overland by way 
of Santa Cruz, Tucson and Santiago. He arrived in Stockton, 
August 4 1849. Mr. Pate came to this county in 1849, be at 
first mined for six years, with indifferent success, after which 
he came to his present home, where he has lived with his 
family, consisting of his wife (formerly Mrs. Lourinda Corneb), 
a native of Clay County, Kentucky, whom he married March 
3, 1853, and two children, Mahaley and Louisa Marion Pate. 
He is employed in farming and raising stock. 

In the foot-hills of the Sierras in Mariposa County, is 
Cathey's Valley, one of those pretty valleys so common in that 
range of country. Andrew Catbey is a pioneer, coming over- 
land in 1852 by the southern route, starting from Fort Smith 
W ith ox-teams. He lived at that time in Saline County, 
Arkansas. He was born in Buncombe County, North Carolina, 
in 1814. His early life was that of a farmer. He lived in 
Georgia eight years and Arkansas nine years. Onhis arrival 
in California, be first stopped in Indian Gulch, and engaged in 
mining in 1852-53. 

In September, 1854, he moved to the little valley where 
he now resides, and which bears his name. He has 400 
acres of upland and valley on which he does some general 
farming. He raiseB an average of twenty bushels of barley per 
acre. His fruit trees do extremely well, of which he has about 
fifty peach, besides many apple, plum and other varieties, 
besides 160 grapevines. On the place is kept a goodly number 
of cattle, hogs, horses and other stock. 

In 1828, Mr. Cathey married Miss Mary M. Gaver. They 
have seven children, five boys and two girls. They are also 
surrounded in their declining years, by ten grand- children and 
nine great-grand-children. 


Andrew Lauder was born in Montreal, Canada, August 18, 
1829. His parents' names are William and Margaret Lauder. 
Andrew learned the trades of carpenter and joiner and mill- 
wright while he was young, but followed the occupation of 
farming eighteen years, occasionally working at his trade of 
millwright. He resided in Rockburn, Huntington County, 
Province of Quebec, Canada. On the second of November, 
1868, he took passage for San Francisco via Panama, making 
the journey in twenty -four days, and arrived in San Francisco 
November 24th. Upon his arrival he went to Merced County, 
near Snelling, then removed to Plainsburg, where he lives. 
In 1877, Mr. Lauder was elected Justice of the Peace for his 
district. The position he still retains, as his integrity is un- 
questioned and his ability above reproach. Mr. Lauder is a 
careful and just judge, who would not think of doing anything 
but right deeds towards his fellow-man. He is also an active 
member of the I. O. G. T„ of Plainsburg. 

In 1848, Mr. Lauder was united in marriage to Miss Eliza 

A. Waller, a native of Canada. They have eleven children, 

named as follows: T. A., Wm. A., A. S., J. W., B. S., R. W., 

. Rebecca E., Isabella, Margaret E., Eliza J., and Sarah J. 



Twenty Years Ago. 

Incidents and Events of a Year. 
Political, and Religious. 


Tee following are the leading events that transpired twenty 
years ago as published in the Banner, and will call to the 
minds of old settlers many thoughts as they read the inci- 
dents of 1862. The first thing, of course, would he a— 


To-day we present our readers with the first issue of our 
little sheet. (< ^ ^ fa hy the >h0W| 

She is light and free. " 
Our fortunes arc the freight, and we cast them for weal or 
woe with the good people of this county. The appearance ot 
our paper to-day, we trust, presents sufficient evrdence of our 
determination to establish and conduct a county paper. We 
were convinced before we commenced our publication that the 
resources of the county were amply sufficient to support 
properly the enterprise, and of the desire of the people there- 
for To the people of the county we look for support, and 
their kindness and liberality to us we shall endeavor to deserve 

"MerLIcounty, although occupying but a small space upon 
the map of the State, is entitled to greater consider. toon .than 
is usually accorded to her. With a rich sod-equal to ^ 
portion of the State-and situated so as to grve her people 
that chance for market so necessary to an *™f™\^ 
she may soon expect to equal in population and wealth any 
portion of the State. , d 

To the enterprising farmer nature has laid ou -^ 
fertile domain easily cultivated and ready to yield M 
his toil and lahor her choicest V*^^ ^ 
herds and bleating fiocKs are su— oi the^ ^^ 
of yore in the pastoral ages of the ^ onG side a 

a location peculiar and advantageous » added, ^ 

stands upon as firm a basis as that of her sterling citizens, and 
at this time her indebtedness is of a nominal character. With 
a population of a little over 1,100, the assessment roll presents 
a list of taxable property of upwards of 81,100,000. This 
speaks for itself, and in comparison with most of the counties 
of the State shows a vast superiority. This wealth and popu- 
lation has a permanence not noticeable in other localities, and 
must increase from year to year. We say " all hail !" Merced ; 
and to our citizens, you shall be proud of her. 


vast mining population, whom we^ may— £*- 
in return receive the glittering production o 
received from the bosom of Mother Earth, ^J^ 
side equal facilities are furnished for trade wi ^ 

center of the Pacific. To these ff*™^ the con- 
fact of a county government in the nan ^ ^^ 
trol of a strictly agricultural people, ^^ ^ may wel i 
ationsand excitements of a mining legio , ^.^ ^ 
be justified in predicting a future with which 

share. , „,.. ner financiering, 

The county credit, through honest and p.oper 

We had the pleasure of attending a ball at the new hotel in 
this place, on the evening of the 4,th instant, given by the 
Prircceof landlords, a noble-hearted man, and one who " knows 

how to keep a hotel." 

We are informed that about one hundred tickets were sold, 
and that it was by far the largest ball ever given in Merced 
county At an early hour in the day carriages containing 
and their escorts wore seen flying in all directions, and soon the 
streets were filled with men, and the hotel and private houses 
were crowded with hoops and dimity. 

Duri ng the afternoon we took a peep into the kitchen and 
counted no less than six good-sized pigs, ten turkeys and forty 
chickens, besides "lots of chicken 'fixens." The whole of 
the culinary department was under the management of Mr, 
Prince, the estimable landlady, who is unquestionably without 
a rival in the management of such affairs. 

At nine o'clock the band struck up a lively air summoning 
the worshipers at the shrine of Terpsichore to the brilliantly 
led saloon, where they "tripped the Ugh antas ic toe 
i broad daylight, and many of them-didut go home in 

"gle large number who attended, we will make men- 
.■ „f the few to whom we had the pleasure of bemg mtro- 
r Mrs Judge Fit^bugh, the most dignified and brilliant 
fTf tie company, dress-white tarlaton, six flounces, 
^^ , vith W black ribbon, head-dress, black ostrich 
tl ,mmed -" Ml ,. Bell Davi9 , rf La Grange, a 

It "'a:*! blon* with Grecian features, attracted much 

■ „ • dress white tarlaton trimmed with groups of narrow 
admiration, dress w ^ ^ ^^ 

ruffles, ornamen^ with srn^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ 

hair arranged ^ ^ statdy bearing o£ a 

JaPO Thro5 The dance, was pronounced the belle of the 
queen, tnrou u 

vL Malinda Brown looked pretty and fascinating; 

evening. W al tucks tri mmed with white satin 

^ryFitahugh looked and moved like a sylph ; 

Meves and silvery laugh made more than one of the 
her rogm b ey ^ ^^ ^ ^ he ^ eh 

QPpOSlte Sex = B , ;„„ nT ,,l ,riira .ftinilR nrll- 

f her heart, to- 



nette, drew 

a lai 

„ Grosen, a charming and vivacious bru- 
.Jcrowd of admirers in her train; dress, 


wMte t; ,,atan, trimmed with cherry-colored f^J^ 
McPb , rS on, of New Year's Diggings, an a tract,™ lady .ta-J 
, n pint and white satin brocade, over-dress of pnk — . 
■J Farrell, of Coulterville, an amiable and graceful lady, 
,„,„, pure white, three flounces elegantly embroidered. M . 
Peck of Diekerson's Ferry, dress, pink tarlatan, double sknt, 
boped up at the sides with wreaths of variegated flower,; 
looked graceful and danced with ease. 

It would be impossible for ns to mention all who were pres- 
ent, but among the most prominent of those , ,». , menhoned 
above, were the Misses Ruddle, Magg,e M.tehell, Hatt.e 
McDonald, Miss Anderson, Miss Woodcock, Miss Hathaway, 
Mrs Peck, and Miss Latonr, and Mrs. Howard. All seemed to 
enjoy themselves, and were undoubtedly well pleased wrth the 


Those wanting legal advice should read the cards of W. A. 
Johnson, of this place, and of P. B. Naglee and S. P. Scamker, 

La Grange. 

J. W. Post will survey your ranches and ditches and war- 
rants his work correct. 

A. A. McDonald will do your painting, paper-hanging, etc., 

at short notice. 

N Breen is ready to administer the oath, marry parties who 
think it best not to live alone, or try cases that may come 

before him. 

A. Rosenthal & Co., and L. Hadlick & Co., of Merced Falls, 
will sell you dry goods and groceries ab reduced prices. 

J. Goldsmith of this place, and Simons, Jacobs & Co., of this 
place and La Grange, will supply the people with dry goods, 
clothing, groceries, etc. 

Those wishing to ride will find fast and well-trained horses 
and fine buggies at the Livery and Sale Stable of W. J- How- 
ard & Bro,°or at the Livery Stable of Messrs. Turner & Leak. 
Messrs. Foreman & Co. will do your blacksmithing hi a work- 
manlike style. 

Mr. Prince, of Prince's Hotel, and Messrs. Solomon'fc Co., of 
the Restaurant, will feed the hungry and lodge the weary. 

You can-obtain the best quality of beef, mutton, and pork 
at the Snelling Meat Market, kept by Solomon & Co. 

W. Myers will deal out good liquors, wines and cigars to the 
thirsty. Those who don't know this fact had better "go and 
try" the clever "cuss" as we have done, and shall continue 
to do. 


The town of Snelling, from which we issue our paper, takes 
its name from the original settler upon the tract of land upon 
■which the town is located. The place was regularly laid off 
by Mr. Snelling in the year 1856, and that year became the 
ouatv seat. Mr. Snelling donated to the county the block 

upon which the Court House and county , art now s and, and a, 
'evidence of the sterling worth and mtegnty o the donor, 
"neighbors gave his name to the new- orn town. The 
city buildings, although plain and unostentat.ous, are a 
edit to the eounty.and compare favorably snortar buud- 
ngs in other counties. The town lies upon the Merce K.ver 
and dnring the recent flood, a portion of the town plot and 
some of the buildings were swept away, but the loss thus occa- 
sioned has been replaced. 

Mr Snelling, whose name it bears, we believe, sleeps his 
last sleep," but his name will remain connected with tins place, 
and to its citizens be known in time yet to come. 

We are told that at this time the title to most of the property 
in the town is difficult to acquire, and of a doubtful and pre- 
carious nature, which deters many from purchasing that would 
do so if its situation was otherwise. This we regret, and we 
trust that our courts may settle the conflicting interests of 
parties, and a clear and fair field be opened to purchasers. 
Then our business men and citizens will commence improve- 
ments and soon our town will present the appearance dreamed 
of by him whose name it bears, agreeable to ourselves and 
pleasant to the passer-by. 


There will be preaching at the Court House in this town 
to-morrow at 11 A. M., by the Rev. Mr. Dean. A meeting to 
take steps for organizing a Sabbath-school will be held at the 
same place at 10 A. M. 


The Union voters of Merced County met at Snelling at 3 
o'clock?. M., Saturday, July 12th, pursuant to a call of the 
citizens, for the purpose of organizing the Union element, 
without distinction of former party issues. 

On motion of J. M. Fowler, R. N. Woodcock was elected 
Chairman of the meeting. 

On motion of H. J. Ostrander, J. W. Fowler was elected 

- Secretary. 

Resolved, That we heartily indorse the present Nationa 
Administration, and hereby pledge ourselves to sustain it in all 
its efforts to preserve the Union. 

Resolved, That we are in favor of a vigorous prosecution of 
the war, without regard to cost or sacrifice, until the last 
rebel is disarmed, and the supremacy of the National Govern- 
ment is acknowledged in every State and Territory ot the 

Resolved, That we have no sympathy with any party or 
person who advocates a peace on any terms, while there *a ;in 
enemy of the Union in open rebellion against the Government, 
and that such a peace would prove to be but a hollow truce, 
leading again to rebellion ami war, and would bo a lasting dis- 
grace to us and to our country. 



Resolved, That every citizen of the United States owes an 
allegiance to the National Government, which is paramount to 
his allegiance to any State, and that any other doctrine would 
be repugnant to the Constitution and to every principle upon 
which our Government is founded. 

Resolved, That since the inauguration of the present National 
Administration all issues heretofore dividing the loyal people of 
the different political parties have been settled, and the only 
issue now before the people is union or disunion. 

Resolved That we call upon the loyal citizens of this State 
to unite with us in a Union Party, which shall place California 
where she of right belongs— high in the rank of States, ready 
to sacrifice all to preserve the rich heritage of liberty — 
bequeathed to us by our fathers. 

Resolved, That we hereby indorse the above resolutions in 

Next, on motion, the meeting proceeded to the election of 
H. J. Ostrander, G. W. Halstead, Erastus Kelsey, Albert Ingals- 
bee, and Daniel Yizer, County Central Committee. 


Snelling, July 12, 1862. 
J W.Bost, Esq. Sir: The undersigned, Democrats and your 
personal friends, ask that you consent to become a candidate 
for the Assembly from this district. We promise you our sup- 
port in the Joint Convention of Merced and Stanislaus coun- 
ties, and are convinced that you will receive the support of all 

good Democrats in this district. 

Respectfully, J. W. Fitzhugh, 

N. Bee en, 
S. H. P. Ross, 
R. R. Leak, 
S. R. Gwinn, 
And twenty-Jive others. 


Messrs J W. Fitzhugh, N. Breen, S. H. P. Ross, R. R. 
Le!kSR. Gwinn, and others-^™* : Your note, bear- 
St! the 12th instant, published in the Merced "££ 
ing me to becomea candidate to represent the V^oit^ 
trfctin the Assembly of California, is before me and ^ehn 
nattered by your choice, I most gratefully accept, and, f chosen 
t th Democracy of Merced and Stanislaus Counties to repre- 
se^m I shalf exert myself to carry out Democratic prmci- 
pies, and advance the interests of my constituen 
P With grateful acknowledgments tor your P"^^ 06 
I am your most ob't s'v't. 
Snelling, July 15, 1862. 


Snelling, July 25, 1S62. 

„ OE MERCED f^V^Z^^^* 

private character, and over which I ha ™ ^ 

inspired within the last ew ^™£$* In doing s0 , 
draw my name as a can dvdate £ the ^ fe)fc 

I would be recreant to my duty dio 

thanks to those gentlemen who were so k nd as to , y 

name before the public in the last --of yom pa 
to you, sir, I am under many obhgatons for the _ m a y 
nesL you haveshown me in connection with th* * ^ 
am, very respectfully, yours, etc. 


On Saturday evening next, August 3d, Mrs. Steele pro- 
poses to give one of her chaste and versatile Dramatic Enter- 
tainments at Prince's Hotel, Snelling, assisted by Masters 
Harry and George Granice, consisting of Readings, Recitations, 
Songs, Funny Scenes, and Dances. The price of admission 
will be one dollar. For programme, see handbills. 


Snelling, July U, 1862. 
The undersigned respectfully announces himself a candidate 
for the Assembly at the ensuing election, subject to the Joint 
Democratic Convention of Merced and Stanislaus Counties. 

In making this announcement I beg leave to return to you, 
fellow-citizens, my most heartfelt thanks for favors heretofore 
conferred. Should I be so fortunate as to secure the nomina- 
tion and ultimately succeed at the polls, and thereby become 
your representative, I will serve yon to the very best of my 
humble ability. It will be my purpose to advance your inter- 
ests in whatever way I can consistent with honor; and I trust 
that if elected to that position I may so act that not one gen- 
tleman who may favor me with his support, either in conven- 
tion or at the polls, will ever have cause to regret having done 
so . I am, fellow-citizens, your ob't sVt. ^ ^ ^^ 


There will be preaching by the Rev. Mr. Lockley, on Sun- 
day next, at Moore's School House, at 10 A. *. at Spears 
School House at 4 p. M., and at Suelliog at 7 v. «. 
Garner of Lewis and Seconal streets, Snelling, California. 
F Prince, Proprietor. 

H theWsigne 'Stpi by »l& Nation to business and the com- 
„to extended to him. an h o « ) continuance. 

•"&SJK5ES oe SJJSKSS the beet viands that can he procured in 

*5£S5 « !■» »"" ** Wd *"■ ** " "* a °" al "" yS mPPl ' Bd "'"' 

' : *t arelow and the fare good. B travelers and teamafc wmg* 
m8 a call they »i.l be sure to go a,ay satisBed. 

Tlie "prices arc low am 
e a call they will be a. 

There will be a Canvp « ^ ^ 

Snellin , eocene on £ ^J ^ ^^ ^^ 
The Reverend Mes^. i. m 

I W Hoclcaday, and John Overton, Will ofhc.ate. 


The Convention met in the Court House at two o'clock .M 
ine ^ lJ . . ., Riias March was elected 

on Saturday, the second mstant. Silas Ma 

Chairman, and N. Breen, Secretary. 



Election of delegates to the State Convention being in order, 
Messrs. J. W. Bost, J. W. Fitzhugh, W. J. Howard, and 5. H. 
P. Ross, were placed in nomination and elected. 

The following resolutions were then read and adopted:— 
Resolved, That the Democracy of Merced County is true to 
the Constitution of our country, and to the "Union thereby 
formed- but we view with disgust and contempt the hypocrit- 
ical protestations of Republicans for a Union which they have 

Resolved, That we are in favor of a reconstruction of the 
Union upon the basis of the Constitution-giving and grant- 
in- to every State the rights guaranteed by that instrument— 
and are opposed to any other Union upon any other basis. 

Resolved, That the present Administration, in its usurpation 
of powers not given by the Constitution-in suppressing Dem- 
ocratic newspapers and disregarding the freedom of the press 
—in establishing political bastiles-in arresting and imprison- 
ing our citizens without due process of law, merits the condem- 
nation of every lover of justice and Constitutional law. 

Resolved, That the abolishing of slavery in the District of 
Columbia, if not unconstitutional— as we believe— was in bad 
faith to the State of Maryland; and the taxation of the free 
whites of the North to pay for the broken-down negroes of 
said District is in violation of every principle of right and 


At the residence of G. W. Halstead, by Justice N. Breen, Mr. 
A. C. Morley to Miss H. C. McDonald, of this place. 

August Term, A. V. 1862. 

Monday, August 4, 1862. 
Present, Hon. J. W. Fitzhugh, County Judge; A. C. Mc- 
Swain and N. Breen, Associates; George Turner, Sheriff, and 
J. "W. Bost, Deputy Clerk. 

Court met at 10 o'clock, A. M. Minutes of the preceding 
term read and approved. Sheriff returned venire for Grand 
Jury. On calling the roll ten only answered to their names. 
The Sheriff was then ordered to summon twelve more jurors 
to serve in place of the absentees. The Court occupied the 
entire day in endeavoring to obtain a jury; failing, the Sheriff 
was ordered to summon eight more jurors, and Court adjourned 
to 10 o'clock to-morrow. 

Tuesday, August 5th. 
Court met at 10 o'clock, and the Grand Jury was impan- 
eled, composed of the following persons: A. Stevenson, Fore- 
man ; William Taylor, G. W. "Ward, J. C. C. Russell, N. B. 
Stoneroad, John Wiswold, J. L. Turner, P. Y. "Welch, Talton 
Bailey, F. B. Holton, R. J. Steele, William Downing, Robert 
Conner, J. M. Smith, H. McDonald, At 5 o'clock, p. m., the 
Grand Jury reported a true bill of indictment against James A. 
Oliver for murder, and was discharged. 

There being no further business the Court adjourned for the 


This gentleman, our fellow- townsman, having received the 
nomination of the Democratic Party as a candidate to repre- 
sent the counties of Merced and Stanislaus in the lower branch 
of the Legislature at its next session, it becomes a pleasurable 
duty to us as a public journalist to give to the public such 
information in regard to the political character and standing 
of the gentleman, and also of his opponent, as has come within 

our knowledge. 

Mr. Robertson, as nearly every citizen of this county knows, 
came to this valley when quite a youth, and for several years 
has been a resident of this town, and engaged, until recently, 
in the practice of the law. He is now acting in the capacity 
of Under Sheriff, and every one will agree with us in saying 
that he is a faithful and efficient officer. In politics he has 
ever acted and been identified with the Democratic Party, 
never having left the fold to run off after false gods. The posi- 
tion he now occupies is that of a Constitutional Democrat, 
and if elected, will exert himself to the utmost of his ability 
to carry out Democratic principles. 

All who know Mr. Robertson esteem him an upright and 
honorable man, and competent to represent the people of this 
Assembly District, and advocate their interests in the Legisla- 
ture; and we believe that he will not lose a single vote of his 
party in this county, but will receive many votes from the 
ranks of the opposition parties from personal considerations. 


Mrs. Bink, wife of Philip Bink, a farmer who resides on the 
Merced River, about twenty miles below this town, disappeared 
fvom home on Friday last, and is supposed to be drowned. On 
last Monday Mrs. Bink, from some cause unknown to her 
friends, became partially deranged, and was closely watched 
and tended until Friday, when she managed to elude the vigi- 
lance of her sister-in-law, Mrs. Calkins, since which time she 
has not heen seen or heard from by any of her friends. She 
is supposed to have wandered to the river and drowned her- 
self, as she was tracked from the house in the direction of the 


We learn from Mr. F. Holton, that a shooting affair occurred 
on the race track, on Sunday, which resulted in a man being 
severely wounded in the breast by a pistol shot fired by John 



A beet weighing fourteen and a half pounds, grown upon the 
ranch of Mr. S. R Gwin, was presented to us during the week 
by Mr. Bonsell, as a specimen of the kind of vegetables he has 
for sale. 

A fine lot of grapes, not a bunch, but a number of pounds, 
was presented us by Mrs. Halstead, the wife of our County 
Treasurer. They were ripe, rich, and luscious. 

Neighbor Breen, that card of honey you sent us, is the finest 
we have seen of California produce. For proof of duo appre- 
ciation on our part, see heading of this article. 



Dr Esmond has become a permanent resident of Snell'mg, 
hav in<* built a neat cottage house, which is occupied both as a 
dwelling and drug store. He has on hand a good supply of 
fresh drugs and medicines, and perfumery, also medical instru- 
ments The doctor is an old and skillful practitioner. He 
has a tine span of horses, and is prepared to visit patients at a 
distance, at any hour of the day or night. 


The body of Mrs. Bink, the lady whom we last week reported 
to be missing, and supposed to be drowned, was found on Sat- 
urday last. H was discovered by a little boy, only a tew yards 
from the place where the tracks indicated that she had jumped 
into the water. CAMP _ MEETINQ . 

On Sunday night last we had the pleasure f aU ndmg a 
camp-meeting at Forlorn Hope, about „ mde be, w th 
21 We arrived on the ground a few moments before th 
V L services commenced. After strolling for awlule 

: : s ti e :ii ^ ^ ». — - *. *- -^^ 


1T?t f tiI b 7:Ia:rwr— Jandstdlness 
of the Most Hrgh. When ^ ^ 

reigned within the camp the Eev. M ^ w . 

commenced the service by readmg a hym 
lowed by an able and eloquent prayer, at the concl 

stonest them which are .sent ^J^ „ a hen gathereth 
have gathered thy f lia,e ^°^, d ' W0U W not I 
her chickens under her wing, and ; ,e ^ 

« Behold, your house is left unto y 
From the above text the gentleman preached, as 
does, a most excellent sermon. 


MSnelling, on the twenty-fourth —, to M, and Mr, 
George Turner, a daughter. 


Xbeconntyof Merced embraces a^e^-o^ 
tory, eluding from the divvdrng nd ^ ^ ^ 

and Tuolumne Rivers on the £ th ^to ^ ^ ^ rf 

south, and from the Merced ^ ^ that p avt of the 

the Coast Range on the west F ^ ^ ^^ 

county lying south of the ^rced K ^ ^ 

npon which thousands of herds ^ .^ rf fl> 

swine roam at large, and find a u ^ ^ 

most luxuriant growth, and exec ed, Jy ^ ^ 

ports them in full flesh throughout the cntn y 

of the county which lies on the north of the Merced River » 
also a prairie, but is interspersed with occasional patches of 
scrub-oak timber, suitable for fuel, but of no use for bmldmg 
or for fencing purposes. Running through the county from 
east to west until they empty into the San Joaquin R.ver are 
several large streams, the bottom-lands of which are nch, well 
cultivated and productive, from which the markets the van- 
ous towns of Mariposa County are supplied with all krndso 
fruits and vegetables, hay, barley, flour, Indian corn, and other 
products of the soil. Merced also supplies not only Manposa, 
but other mining counties with beef, pork, mutton, honey, etc 
a nd thousands of horses. And although the adjacent mm- 
furnish a good market for large quantities of our product ens 
U„ increase ha, been so great and so rapid that we of ten ear 
the farmers complaining exclaim that they cant find sale for 

their products. - , 

The county is capable of supporting a population of ten 
times the number now settled upon ,ts sod, an all hat* 
required to place its inhabitants in the most comfortable, easy 
;, d ffluen circumstances of those of any other county m the 
StateTs a full development of all of its natural resources, winch 
™d be easily accomplished with increased facihtres tor cor. 
lying their produce to market, and obtaining supphes from 

^mTpT ttZZ. --em that no apology is 

necessary to our friends. 


s . „ ■„ .- o, m =-*;» '- -;r- :;,,- 

mem beroftheBarinthisDistnet 

- *r no fl "F-ais who are fond of playing bil- 

of Judge Lynch. See advertisement. 


.trotting race cameo fft .—.^--tI 
^ Wi ^rteT'r.""w:nbyHalstead.sgray 

r^^ minutes and two second, 


n i, V,a the District Attorney for this county, 

S ' H " f 2^ with a mess of potatoes, one of which 

presented us tnis w Rogs ^forms us 

P weig ned ^*^:^2 on his farm, and thinks 
that he planted two acre v ^ ^^ ^ fcbe patch 
that he W Ul gather from l.oOO , 



We received, a few days ago, a sack of sweet potatoes, a 
present from Messrs. Gibson & Allen, one of which measured 
Lfeet eight inchts in length. As the potatoe hangs in our 
office, it presents the appearance of an Indian "war club. 
It was grown upon the ranch of Dr. W. J. Barfield, a few 
miles below this place. . 

We believe that there is no part of the State of Califorma 
where the soil makes more liberal returns to the husbandman 
for the care and labor he expends in its cultivation than that 
of Merced County. 

We understand that there is to be some racing over the 
Snelling Course to-day. If there is to be as much money bet 
and as much excitement as there was at the race last Satur- 
day, it will be worth attending. 


On Dry Creek, on the twenty-sixth ultimo, to the wife of I. 
N. Ward, Esq., a daughter. 


In this place, on Sunday, the twenty-sixth ultimo, by Justice 
N. Breen, Mr. William R. Pittman, of Branch's Ferry, to Miss 
John Anne Sillman, of Stanislaus County. 

TThe happy couple remembered the printer, as was evidenced 
by a generous slice of cake received at this office. May their 
honeymoon last forever.] 

At the residence of the bride's father, in Homitos, on the 
twenty-sixth ultimo, by the Rev. Mr. Overton, Mr. George 
Vandergriff to Miss Martha Scroggins. 


The Rev. Mr. Wood will preach at the Dry Creek School 
House, about four miles from this place, on Sunday next, the 
twenty-second instant, at 11 o'clock, A. M. We had the pleas- 
ure of listening to a most excellent sermon delivered by the 
above-mentioned minister a few weeks since, and we consider 
him a most able teacher and a Christian gentleman. As he 
will have to travel about thirty miles to fill this appointment, 
we trust that he will have a large and attentive congregation. 
It is quite a treat now-a-days to hear a good sermon; for, 
notwithstanding the Presiding Elder, the Rev. Mr. Davies, 
resides in our village and we have a most excellent and con- 
venient place for divine service to be held in, and about twenty 
members of the Methodist Church South living within a short 
distance of Snelling, we have not had preaching but once since 
the first of August, and for that sermon we were indebted to 
the Rev. Mr. Taylor, of Visalia. 

The village of Merced Falls is now showing visible signs of 
improvement. The merchants are getting in large stocks of 
winter goods, and the milling and other interests of the place 
give evidence of unusual activity. Mr. Fahle is fitting up a 
new hotel, and announces his intention to keep an unexcep- 
tionable house. The location is a good one for almost any 
kind of business, and we are pleased to note its improvement. 


Near Forlorn Hope, on the fourteenth instant, to the wife of 
William M. Chamberlain, a daughter. 


The improvement of our little town is steadily progressing. 
The frame of the store-house of Mr. Skelton is up, and the 
weather-boarding is being rapidly put on. The materials for 
building the store-house of Mr. Davis are all on the ground, 
and his dwelling is nearly completed. By the tenth of Decem- 
ber there will be two more stores started here, and the people 
of our county may depend upon being able to obtain their 
goods at the county seat. Other buildings are projected, and 
will be put up as soon as building materials can be procured. 
There is room for a few more families here, and also for a few 
more business houses. A tailor would do a good business here, 
and we would advise some one to establish himself here in that 


We are informed that there will be preaching at the Court 
House in this place on Sunday next (to-morrow), at eleven 
o'clock, A. M., and also in the evening, by the Rev. Mr. Gulp. 
We hope the people will turn out, both morning and evening, 
to hear the Reverend gentleman's discourse. 

On last Sabbath we had the pleasure of listening to two 
sermons, one in the forenoon and the other in the evening, by 
the Rev. Mr. Culp, of the Stanislaus Circuit. The attendance 
and the sermons were excellent. There are two appointments 
for preaching on the first Sabbath in December, and we expect 
to see a general turn out of our neighbors. To our mind, 
good preaching is more interesting to us on the Sabbath day 
than any other exercises, and we think that if this place is 
supplied with a good preacher that many who spend their 
time on the Sabbath about rum shops and gambling houses, 
would become regular attendants of places of worship. Let us 
be tried with a good preacher, and. our word for it,- he will 
have a good congregation. 


At Lakeport, Lake County, California, October 31st, of pul- 
monary consumption, Col. Jack W. Smith, aged forty-two 

Colonel Smith was a native of the State of Arkansas. He 
was a soldier during the Mexican War, and afterwards joined 
a Texas Ranger company and was engaged in protecting the 
Western frontier settlements. In 1850 he immigrated to Cali- 
fornia, and in 1852 located on the Merced River ; was an ardent 
supporter of the organization of Merced County, and spent 
much time in framing the bill before the Legislature, and at 
the first election for county officers was an unsuccessful candi- 
date for County Judge. Was subsequently appointed to the 
office of District Attorney, which position he filled with ability 
and satisfaction to the people. In 1857 he removed to Napa 
City, where he practiced his profession until a severe bleeding 
at the lungs caused him to abandon the law as a livelihood. 
Colonel Smith leaves a wife and three children, and many 
friends to mourn his loss. " May he rest in peace." 

Mr. Anderson will open his new hotel in this place in a very 
short time. The building is large and commodious, and pre- 
sents a splendid appearance. 




Several of our neighbors have spoken to us in regard to our 
school, and all seen, desirous that a school should be kept up 
^ ti place during the winter. As there are no funds ,n th 
"easurj due this school district, the question ,s_« how » a 
Zl to be supported?" There are two ways by winch a 
, „„„ be kentup The Trustees can employ a teacher at a 
8 ! S sir aTd to meet the payment, levy a tax of two, 
;^o ^dollars per scholar in attendance. Or the peop e 
^employ a teacher independent of any act.on of the In,, 
tees Tnd have the parent* of each pupii bound to pay a pr, 
talare of the amount necessary to defray the expenses 
We a Ixious that a school shall be kept up, and for the pur 
I e securing that desirable object we are to pay full 
P Tuition and also contribute liberally towards fixmg 

P " C 1 ll hou r We think that twenty-five regular schol- 
UPt lamt'atfour dollars each per month, which won 

;::!!" the salary of a teacher and also defray al, 

other expenses of a school. 


At the Weber ^^^^Z^ZZi 
L. A. Holmes, editor of the Mariposa Gazette ana 
aged thirty-five years. 


TheKev.Mr.Boo^aCumbe^^yter.n — 

Iirsar^rle fourth Sabbath, at no,lock. M . 
a nd at candle-lighting mtheevenmg. 

that at the next meeting they will do sometlung m th p em 

ta that wiU add something to the health and comfort of our 

^ens.and at the same time be a credit to themselves as 

SU Cii: that the wealthy county of Merced cannot afford 
t0 pav out the paltry sum required to plant out a few common 
shade-trees around its Court House and jarl-the only pbUc 
building in the county, is a miserly excuse, and should not be 
listened to for a moment. 

In this county, as the assessments show, there rs pr perty 
In this coun y ^^ ^ ^ md 

amountmg to mo.e than o« ^ tQ 

f ew weeks." siNG ing school. 

the scholars. harmed, 

■ , , P nf George Turner, Esq., in this place, on 
^—:i;--Breen, M , Addison Tower to 

Miss Adeline Lough. 

t Oitv on New Years day, the abohUomsts 
In Sacramento Git}, on i president's emancipa- 

ted o»e /m««Vrf otW ™ ^ of the *' 
Uon proclamation. ^^ 

i „t tVip sHth instant, John 
In this -,on Tuesdays -, *•« R ^ 

W. Best, County Clerk . th* » J County Judge oS 

bugh, daughter of the Hon. J. w 

this county. more £ro m our sitting 

fOur little Mary is married. * ^ ^ ^ ^ of 
ro om window will we see hex p ^ sdjool house f 

school girls, skipping toward h. 1 teacher , school 

our village! She has «*»^ ^^ ehil dhood's 
eompanions, parents, and the p ^ rf ^ yoOTg love . 

home; she has exchanged all ^^ ^^ 

May she be happy'-- our earnest 

Next Monday week being ^^^^oloi Merced 
the next regular meeting of the Boa do 1 ^ ^ ^ 


vears and seven months. 


advertising will be seen that 
% ^rence to our^ « ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ 

M , a N. Eaynrond - U comm ^^ ^ Those 

Anderson House m tins place ^ ^ to ^^ „ 

wh0 desire — ^TdUg — ■ - *— " 
Mr. Raymond is a" c 

the popular dances. ^ ^^ ^ d(M and at 

The county rs now, * necessar ily continue to increase 

t he usual rate of taxat.on won n^ J ^ ^ ^ 

Us mde btedness from ^^^ «P™» » ^ * 
wehavebeenforsometmr^ ^ 1862>t true 

eriminal tr.als. The- w ^ toe lias ot 

biu passed by the Gran J Y ^ ^ lMt£oar ffi0nth , 

been, a prisoner m our I* 7 ^ ^^ to none m 

This shows the morals of he com ^ ^ ^^ q{ 

t he State, yet as the V^^ ^ ^ past few years 

the county for revenue, the a sufficie nt to pay the 

have been inadequate^ p du^ .a ^^ ^ ^ 

^NTB-d of Supervisors in future is characters . 
action 01 oui 


by that system of economy and wisdom which has prevailed 
for a few years past, we doubt not that good will result from 
the passage of the bill maintained above. 


Last week the dwelling-house of John Holley, on Dry Creek, 
in this county, was entirely destroyed by fire, together with 
all the furniture, clothing of the family, etc. As the family 
had been absent all day, and there being no fire in the house 
since early in the morning, it is very evident that it was set on 

fire by some scoundrel. 


At the residence of Rev. Mr. McClenny, the twenty-fourth 

instant, by the Rev. Mr. Sheldon, J. M. Fowler to Miss Anna E. 



Near this town, on the ninth instant, to the wife of the Rev. 
Mr. Shelden, a son. 


We understand' that the spring rodeos will commence in 
this county next week, when there will be a general gath- 
ering up of the cattle that are now running at large over 
the plains. If the cattle dealers and others interested will 
inform us of the appointments, we will endeavor to keep our 
readers posted in regard to the times and places, of meeting of 
the people for this purpose. We understand that Mr. Prince, 
the proprietor of Prince's Hotel in this place, will keep a restau- 
rant on the rodeoing grounds, moving from day to day with 
the company, for the accommodation of the people. Those who 
want good meals, good liquors and good cigars can obtain them 
by calling at his tent. 

Since the above was in type we learn that Messrs. Solomon 
& Co., of this place, will also have a restaurant tent on the 
rodeoing grounds. These gentlemen get up good meals, and 
they are clever and accommodating. 


At Hornitos, on the nineteenth instant, George Reebe to 
Rosina Hunziker. 


On the thirteenth instant, the wife of Mr. Hathaway, of 
twins, a son and a daughter. 

In this town on the sixteenth instant, the wife of Robert 
Crawford, of a daughter. 


On the nineteenth instant, to Mr. and Mrs. A. C. Morley, a 


On the morning of the twenty-first instant, infant son of Mr. 
and Mrs. A. C. Morley. 


RUNAWAY, or went off without leave from my ranche, Liuis Devron, 
a bull-headed Frenchman, on the night of the twenty-eighth ultimo. Any 
person returning the said Louis Devron to me in irons, will be entitled to a 
reward of twenty-five cents. S. R. GAVIN. 

Snelling, May 9, 1863. 


On Dry Creek, in this county, on the third instant, the wife 
of John H. Smart of a son. 

On the second instant, in this county, the wife of Thomas 
Eagleson of a son. 


On Sunday, the twenty-first instant, by Hon. J. W. Fitz- 
h, Wm. McSwain to Mrs. Martha E. Birt.allof this county. 


These intolerable pests are becoming quite numerous on the 
plains north of this place, and fears are entertained by some of 
our farmers that they will do great damage to the crops. Two 
years ago most of the orchards and vineyards in the valley were 
materially injured and some of them entirely destroyed. 


The following is the list of the Grand Jury drawn to serve 
at the June Term of the Court of Sessions, 1863:— 

G W Birkhead, S. W. Brown, J. McAmiss, John Birkhead, 
Sylvanus Buckley, Philip Bush, Charles Baily, W. B. Ashen, 
T J Anderson, G. G. Belt, Albert Allen, A. Albeck, J. F. 
Anderson, Charles M. Blair, M. 0. Barber, Wm. J. Barfield. 


On Friday of last week the dead body of a man was found in 
the river about four miles above this place. The body was so 
much decomposed that it was impossible to identify it, but was 
supposed to be that of a Chinaman who was drowned a month 
previous, about ten miles above where it was discovered. There 
was no inquest held. 

On the day following— last Saturday— the dead body of a 
man was discovered in the bottom about one mile below this 
place, supposed to be the remains of a man who had formerly 
cooked for the Messrs. Neil, on their ranch. He was supposed 
to have been dead three or four days, and it was thought that 
death was produced by intemperance and exposure. The 
name of the deceased was supposed to be John Joy. There was 
no inquest held. 


The weather this week has been exceedingly hat, the mer- 
cury standing above 100 degrees Fahrenheit. On Thursday there 
prevailed a hot, dry wind, the air filled with sand and fine dust, 
similar to the simoons of the Arabian deserts. During the con- 
tinuance of this wind the heat was almost intolerable. With 
the mercury at 104- degrees above zero, and a suffocating wind 
which carried with it sand and dust which filled the eyes, nose 
and mouth, it was impossible for man or beast to perform the 
labors of the day without experiencing much discomfort. As 
for ourselves, we found that we were sufficiently employed in 
wiping the dust from our eyes and nostrils. This morning, 
however, the sun is obscured by clouds, and the atmosphere is 
cool and pleasant. 


The building of F. Prince, on the site of Prince's Hotel, and 
that of A. B. Anderson, on the opposite corner, each designed 
to be used as a hotel, are being rapidly erected, and in a few 
weeks, at most, there will he two good hotels in our town. 

The restaurant and lodging-house of Messrs. Solomon & Co. 
is so nearly completed that those gentlemen have moved into 
it and commenced to do business, and those who want good 
I meals can get them at anv hour bv calling at the restaurant. 



Pioneers of Merced County. 

Names of Pioneers, Nativity, Date of Arrival 
Incidents of Early Times, Etc. 

A FEW years more, and all the pioneers will have passed 
« over the river." Many now lie among the golden sands that 
allured them hither. Let no unmerited blot be cast upon the 
erand army of adventurers who covered these western shores, 
and brought with them the foundation of our society, schools 
and homes. Their years of honorable toil have transformed 
the wild lands into harvest-laden fields. They peopled the 
Pacific slope with a new civilization. They added untold 
wealth to a mighty empire. No wonder everything connected 
with them is now revered by the new generation as sacred to 
antiquity. A generation in time has made the young man 
2\J laid away those of middle age in then- last home. 
The pioneers have covered the hill-sides and dotted the plain, 
with their graves. Theirs were days such as never will have 
a counterpart in the world's history. 

Z the following, says the Express, is thought to be a com- 
plete list of the old settlers of Merced county, who now (1880) 
'do in this county, and who came to California previous ; o 
September 0, 1850, this being the date at which California 
wfadm tted into the Union. We give biographical notices 
of a* many of these as would furnish us the required data.- 

Leggett, T. A., New York. 
Montgomery, J- M., Kentucky. 
Marsh, J. B., Massachusetts. 
McErlane, Hugh, Ireland. 
McCreary, \V. A., Alabama. 
McFarian, N., Tennessee. 

McFarlan, John L., Tennessee. 

Nelson, William. 

Openheim, Tien., Germany. 

Ostrander, H.J., NewYork. 

O'DonneU, John, Ireland. 

Powell, George W., Texas. 
Russell, George, Connecticut. 
Eogers, G. W.,Newlork. 
Robertson, J. W. Mississippi. 
Ruddle, John, Missouri. 
Reynolds, Rube, Georgia. 

Aiken, William R., Mississippi. 
Blackburn, J. C, Ohio. 
Bennett, P. B., Ireland. 
Boat, J. W-, Mississippi. 
Carroll, Patrick, Ireland. 
Chapman, Joseph, Maryland. 
Chamberlain, A., New York:. 
Clough, A.W., New Hampshire 
Cargile, Thos. B, Kentucky. 
Chandler, R.T., Georgia. 

Cox, Isom J., Tennessee p TT-imesB New York 

t rj Pormtivlvama. Pecic, jaim-o -"->•) Ai v 
%%Z\ Ha^N^York. Peak, ^Illinois, 
Dean, T. C, Kentucky. 
Dickenson, Samuel, Missouri. 
Dickenson, G. W, Missouri. 
Dowst, W.B., Massachusetts. 
Evans, Chas. E., Louisiana. 

Fee, Peter, Norway. Pnlfp^NolBon, Virginia. 

Griffith, Joshua, Pennsylvania. ^,^0" ^luibama 
Gardenhire, F., Pennsylvania. Stonei^a,^ ^ Jq ^ 

Goldman, M, Prussia. ... t xr, aaf 

Giveus, E. T., Kentucky. 

Heme, Levi, Missouri. 

Hulse,A. W., New York. 

Howell, W.L., Pennsylvania 

Hicks, James E., Missouri. 

Hayes, George, Maine. 

Huffman, C.H., Louisiana 

Halstead.G.W., New York. 

lvett, John, England, 
Inglesby, Albert, New York 

Jones, J- Y., Virginia 
Johnson, Thomas, Ireland. 
Kibby, James, New York 
Kelsey, Ei-aslus, New Yoik. 
Key*, John, Virginia. 
Kanl, Adam, Pennsylvania. 

Lark n, Frank, Now York. 

H^v son, James J., Missouri. 
Stevenson; Col. A Kentucky 
Smith, Edward 1-L, New York. 
Scott, Samuel, Kentucky. 

Thurman, Eli, Tennessee, 
iumer, Nicholas, Tennessee 
TvVon Ed. H., North Carobna. 
Sner.W.O^orth Carolina. 
Wilson, L.l\NewYork. 
Wheat, Job, New York 

Ward, George W., Missouri. 
Yates! Adam, New York. 

James Wood Robertson was horn near the City of Brandon, 
in Rankin County, Mississippi, March 29, 1833. He was left 
an orphan at the age of six years. His mother died 1S37, and 
father 1839. On the death of his father he was placed under 
the guardianship of an uncle who lived in Issaquena County. 
Here he attended the common schools and worked on a farm 
until near his sixteenth year. He then started for California in 
February, 1849, and arrived in San Francisco on the fourth of 
August of that year. LeEt New Orleans on the fifteenth ol 
February for Corpus Christi, Texas, and remained at this point 
about a month. Then ma San Antonio to Mexico. He arrived 
in Mazatlan on the fourteenth of June, and sailed on the six- 
teenth for San Francisco, being on shipboard forty-nine days. 
On the voyage up from Mazatlan on the Greyhound, then- 
supply of provisions and water became exhausted, and passen- 
gers were put on an allowance and were forced to distil water 
There were about seventy-five passengers, mostly from Lowell 
and New Bedford, Massachusetts. Mr. Robertson says he 
knows of hut one who still lives, George Cadwalader, of 

Sacramento. ,. 

After a short stay in SanFranciseo he started for the nnnes, 
and reached Jacksonville, on the Tuolumne River, August 17 h. 
He mined at that place and vicinity until ^ ^^ 
wn en he returned to Stockton. He remamed m Stockton 
until January, 1350, and again struck out for the "-*; 
Z the old California Ferry* on the Merced Ewer, » the latter 
":, of that month, and there remained untu the summer. In 
the fall of 1850 he took a trip to the northern mmes. 

Tt.Lt winter and summer he tried mining at Canon 
Jk ne" Georgetown, in El Dorado County, hut returned 
2nTl857 Jthe Merced Kiver, and has renamed there 

T^ on the organization of the county, he waselected 
, held the office until 1858. For two years he was 

the District Court in 186L ^^ rf 

In 1SG2 he was elected to the Assemoiy 
MCTC ed and Stanislaus, serving £* — « ' \ £ County 

At the judicial elechon held m 1363 was 
Judge, which office he held until January, 1880. He 
practicing law at Merced t0 Mrs. Johanna 

He was married * — ^^ nine 

Pittman a native of Arkansas. mev 

nronths, named James 0»P« J^J, any mone y in 
M , Kohertson Jorms us that hen. Ld ^ ^ ^ ^ 

t EohertsSas heen u*****™*^*? for 


the advancement of the interests o£ Merced County. At one 
tUne he was engaged in editing and publishing .«W- 
Snelling. During the long time he held the ofhce of Countj 
Judge he commanded the confidence and respect of Ins con- 



This pioneer of Merced was born in Kentucky, in 1809. 
He came to Santa Clara and engaged in merchandising in 
1847 and in 1849 came to Merced, then Mariposa County, 
and entered into the stock bnsiness. He went from Santa 
Clara to where Placerville now stands, and engaged in mining. 
He built the first house in Placerville, a log cabin. A village 

soon after sprang up. 

He was quite successful in mining. We have often heaid 
the story told how he and his partner, Mr. Montgomery, tied 
a pair of leather breeches filled with gold-dust on a mule, and 
started on a journey to San Francisco. The mule strayed 
away; after a three days' search they found him quietly graz- 
ing in the tules, the precious burden all right. 


They had great difficulty in taking care of their dust and 
coin Robberies were frequent. On one occasion, Montgomery 
started to San Francisco with about S10.000, to deposit in the 
bank. He stopped at the ferry at the mouth of the Merced 
River. While he slept, some person or persons, dug under and 
entered the house, and robbed him of the whole amount. It 
was well for him that he slept well, for he learned afterward 
that a pistol was pointed at his head, and had he but stirred 
it would have been discharged. 

They deposited a large amount in Page, Bacon & Co.'s bank, 
which they or he lost, with hundreds of others, by the failure 
of that firm. After Mr. Scott located on the ranch, he sold 
outfits to miners; but when they were too poor to buy, as 
was often the case, he gave them an outfit. He was ever 
ready to help a deserving person, but he disliked idleness and 
profligacy, and took no pains to conceal his dislike. Many a 
man here, and elsewhere, owe their success to his readiness to 
"help those who help themselves." He was a man of fine 
poetic taste; was a severe critic, in everything relating to art. 
Had a natural talent for sketching landscapes, was something 
of a poet, and was remarkably witty in conversation. He had 
a highly cultivated taste for the beautiful in nature, particu- 
larly flowers; the tiniest flower was sure to attract his atten- 
tion. He hardly ever entered his house without bringing 
flowers, sprays, or seed pods. He was fond of traveling. He 
visited every portion of the United States, Mexico, the Hawaiian 
Islands, and some parts of British Columbia. 

Among our large illustrations will be found a view of his 
late residence and its surroundings. He named his home on 
the mound, "Balaerte," and the little cemetery, where he now 

rest8 "Last Camp." He died March 15, 1881, of typhoid 
fever At present the farm consists of 2,000 aeres, of which 
1 .00 is bottom-land of the Merced River, that can be irri- 
gated, and produces corn and cotton. Eight hundred acres is 
ua the plains adjoining. Thirty-six acres is devoted to orchard, 
of apple, pear, peach, apricots, plums, figs, almonds, walnuts, 
gooseberries, strawberries, blackberries, and other fruits. 
" ^married his second wife, a Mr, Dale, March 20, 1866. 
She was a native of Indiana. There were three children, 
Robert, William, and Moses; the latter is the only one now 
living William died, leaving three girls and one boy. Their 
names are Eliza, Samuel, Annie, and Elizabeth Scott. 

We copy the following account of Mr. Scott and his home 
from an article written by Juanita, and published in 1873. 

The traveler in passing up or down the road between Hopeton 

tory rising above some noble, lofty trees, and commanding 
from its elevated situation a view of a vast expanse of country. 
That observatory surmounts the handsome residence of the late 
pioneer, Samuel Scott, who was a native of Virginia, where it 
is presumed he received his scholastic education. We know 
nothing of his history prior to his starting for the shores of the 
Pacific, further than that he had married and lost the devoted 
partner of his early manhood. He had read much about the 
great West, particularly about the Pacific Coast, and deter- 
mined in his mind that the day was not far distant when, 
somewhere on the noble bay of San Francisco, a mighty city 
would arise, and be the commercial emporium of an empire. 
In his brightest dreams though, he did not behold the discovery 
of gold, which occurred a few months after his advent into the 
country, nor the grand drama that was so soon to be enacted in 
consequence upon the stage of the world. No-no, Scott 
never dreamed of such, but if gold had not been discovered, he 
would doubtless have had his prophetic vision blessed by 
looking even now upon a growing city on the great San Fran- 
cisco Bay. 

With bright hopes and aspirations he started from Missouri 
in 1S47, and reached California with Mr. J. M. Montgomery, 
sometime during the same year. 


We will now, says Juanita, go on a visit to Scott's beautiful 
and tranquil home, a short distance below that of Mr. Mont- 
gomery. Keeping our eye on the observatory, we crossed a 
dry slough on our left, opened a gate and walked up a road a 
short distance, and then found ourself at the entrance of a 
magnificent avenue, bordered on either side by very lofty 
cottonwood trees, rising a few feet equi-distant from each 
other, and whose dense, green foliage formed a grateful shade 
from the fervent rays of the summer sun. The avenue widened 
as we advanced, and the rows of cottonwoods at length termi- 
nated, each with a gigantic, glorious old oak. In the center of 



the avenue was an enclosed ornamental garden with the 
configuration of. a heart. Its area may be three-fourths of an 
acre ° We found in this delightful, sequestered spot, fig and 
locust trees, the African tamarack, arbor vitee, pine laburnum, 
With a very wilderness of the sweet pea-vine. The surface of 
ft e ground was covered with what we were afterwards told 
was called "manyaneea grass." This is, we believe indige- 
nous to Italy, from where it was taken to the Sandwich Islands 
an j ultimately spread over that region. Itis a very beautiful, 
plicate grass, of a deep green, almost a bluish-green color, and 
"down. It is readily affected by drought, but not by 
Lt We stood here for a few minutes, looking on the varied 
vILties and grandeur of the scene around us and listenmg to 
clo, o U^heredsongstershiddenamongthe ^foliage 
!^ the trees To our left we could see a beautiful green 
meadow that had been sown to alfalfa and adorned at intervals 
with clusters of fine cottonwoods. 

He e was an orchard covering an area of thirty acres, and 

cental" a choice variety of fruit trees; there a splendid 

e^of twenty-five acres-here a f^™^ 

i m 7V bower fitting retreat for lovers to tell the 

:Tlal ' la 'd,evervthing,welookedon and heard 

tender tale. ma , had rea ehed the 

™:*«.i»*.... t w, m .w,.,i..m...w- 

the path to the right or toft, _tat noting » 

v \ ;« thp Wutt we ascended, ana gamm a 
excavate d m th blutt. ^ ^ ^ (the 

stood before the lady 01 

pioneer had married a second time -e ^^ tQ 

Ldingsomeflowersinf-tot he porcK ^ ^ ^ 

hertheohjectofou^v. v. -- ^ ^ of 

pioneer, we were at once wei 

manner and winning <« ]ant5 , flowe rs, etc., 

Among quite a variety of tiees, s F ^ 

in ft. ornamental grounds, we no ed ^ som ^ 

Monterey cypress, oleander, M^ -g ^ 

bay tree, Australian heather, southern "^ pula _ 

jasmine, verbenas, roses, Western vine (b^onim ) ^ 

wHte lUac, sweet pea, -^V^^ ^7 On entering the 

The air was really heavy with fiagianc- ^ fe a 

grounds, the first thing that enchanted o> ^ ^ 

minute transfixed ns to the ear was^ ^ ^ ^ 

its well-remembered yellow Howei. We ^ ^ 
„„, a happy, guileless boy, wandeung 

far away," and as we looked on it there, in the grounds of the 
pioneer, Scott, a thousand tender associations connected win 
fond reminiscences arose in our mind-we could hear the 
vibrations of our own heart, and we were a boy again. But 

we must hurry on. 

Mr and Mrs. Scott annually take a trip in the early days of 
summer to some celebrated to the Sandwich 
Islands, or to Washington Territory, among the lakes there; 
sometimes to the more renowned spots of our own glorious State 
-to the Big Trees, Yo Semite, etc. They had returned from 
Yo Semite the day before we visited their home, and Mrs. Scott 
had taken with her from that region some mountain firs 
moccasin flowers (deriving the name ^ " ! " 
hears to an Indian moccasin), and severa other objects 
interest, and which she highly prised. It » mipossibl foi us 
convey in a letter for a newspaper anything ^^ 
description of what we beheld during our visit. We ^wen 
through the numerous apartments in the mansion aU o 
w t h we found to be elegantly and comfortably furn^and 

—^stin^X^o the animal, mineral 

and vegetable kingdoms. 

Tnefein his peaceful and beautiful retreat, ins torn th 
pi0 n e r heats L passing hours, while his highly m telhgen 
C most amiable better half will delight to g- welcome 

w"n"::tolntionthatthepanor : m a as 

-rr— -—- - =: ^ 

i^rriir future might oecakn and tranquil 
as the heavens at the time were peaceful and serene. 


The following is from a correspondent of the «■*»/«* 
pendent : QL„ fo n f California is that of 

0,eon^n^^^2lT^ friends at 
M, Scott, about two mi es below S » '»= fe 

Snelling advised me to v^ and was ueh^P ^ ^ ^ 
^"iC: :l b ;o»Warefrom,perha Pr ne. 

Uk ' i Two miles in width, while upon either s.deaie 
half mile to two mde ^ ^ ^^ to a 

blu fls that .rise veiy ahiup J ^ ^ rf ^ Mufc 

1 he ight of fift, -6 * T he o X rf ^^^ Md ]ow hffl 

upon either side is for miles ion At that point in 

^TX:^ SX * -ated, ! should judge 
the valley where ^^ ^.^ Aboufc midwav 

the valley to be oyer wo d ^ ^ ^ 



pears to be composed of the same material, a gray sandstone, 
and like the bluffs, it rises very abruptly from the valley. 

Upon this mound, which contains probably from thirty to 
forty acres of land, is the residence of Mr. Seott, a fine, large 
and well-arranged dwelling, reached by winding carriage ways 
from two sides of the mound.' His farm, lying about this 
mound, contains nine hundred acres of land, a portion of 
which is under cultivation and part is devoted to pasturage. 
At the upper end of his farm he is enabled to take the water 
of the Merced River into ditches, and to thence carry it over 
the land below for irrigation. Along the foot of the mound 
runs a fine stream of clear water, which turns an undershot 
wheel that carries a force pump throwing water into the house, 
and also furnishes a supply for irrigating the grounds about 
the house upon the mound, which are beautifully laid out and 
devoted to shrubbery and flowers. At the foot of the mound 
are growing some of the finest oak trees, and along side of a 
carriage way that leads around the mound, cottonwood trees, 
twelve years old, eighteen inches in diameter and already taller 
than the original oak trees. 

Here are also orchards of fruit trees, principally apple, that 
now completely cover the ground and produce fruit in a won- 
derful abundance. Mr. Scott has about thirty acres of orchard, 
all bearing. From the top of an observatory upon the house, 
amost magnificent view is had of the farm, as well as of the 
surrounding country. Upon the farm are growing large patches 
of com, potatoes and grain, while up and down the river the 
view is unsurpassed. The different crops here cultivated are 
very luxuriant in their growth, and there being so many kinds, 
it gives to the scenery a variety seldom seen, and forms a 
panorama of extraordinary beauty. 


Reuben Reynolds is another of the sturdy pioneers, now 
residing in Merced county. He was born in Greensborough, 
Mississippi, January 18, 1818. His father, Benjamin Rey- 
nolds, was a cotton planter, and superintendent of a large 
cotton ranch, requiring from 600 to 700 men to do the labor. 
Before coming to this county and State, Mr. Reynolds had to 
experience a number of incidents, worth relating. He lived 
one and one-half miles east of Canton, Mississippi, prior to his 
start for California. He left, with the intention to sail via 
Panama, and went, accordingly, to Vicksburg, Mississippi, 
where, hearing that the yellow fever was raging about, he 
turned to take the overland route, over which he traveled, 
per ox-team, with a party of thirteen Mississippians, eleven 
Texans, and fourteen Missouri frontiersmen. 

Sublette, the pioneer scout of the Rocky Mountains, was 
leader. They had twelve encounters with Indians, but had 
such good luck that only two of the men received arrow 
wounds. The trip occupied ninety days, and terminated at 

Steep Hollow, on the Bear River, August 7, 1849. Mr. Rey- 
nolds commenced his career in California as a miner, making 
from fifty to seventy dollars a day near Steep Hollow, which 
he left, for further prospecting. 


In November, 1849, he came to Fiddletown, where he settled, 
he being the one to give the town its name, on account of 
there being so many Arkansas men living about, who could 
play the violin; yet the situation was not a very pleasant one. 
There were Indians about, who attacked the settlers several 
times, but were always driven back, the settlers losing only 
two men (killed) and one wounded. 

In September, 1850, he moved to Jackson, Amador County, 
where he built the first house; then again, in November, 1857, 
to King's River, Fresno County, following the cattle business; 
and finally, April 16, 1870, he came to his present home, which 
is so pleasantly situated in the town of Plainsburg. Through- 
out his actions he showed what a man can achieve with a 
spirit of progress and industry; and deserves, surely, much 
credit for the active part he took in the settlement of the 
county. He is now engaged in farming and cattle raising, 
owning 460 acres of land, two houses and lots in Plainsburg, 
and one lot at Plainsburg switch. A school house is on the 
ranch, the church and post-office are within two miles, and 
the county seat within ten miles. On his land, which has soil 
as good as can be found in the county, he keeps twenty-five 
head of excellent horses and mules, and receives an average 
yield of twenty bushels per acre of wheat. In 1855, Mr. Rey- 
nolds married an Arkansas lady, Miss Mary Eliza Slinkard, 
who is the mother of his two children, Charles and Mary 
Elizabeth Reynolds. 


The subject of this sketch is a pioneer. When but nineteen 
years of age, inspired with an ambition to achieve for himself 
a sufficiency of this world's goods to render him independent, 
and with his young heart filled with the many and wonderful 
stories of the golden State of California, he left his boyhood 
home in the State of Arkansas, and together with a large com- 
pany of emigrants, started for his destination. He left Arkansas 
in 1S49, taking what is known as the southern route, via Santa 
Fe, New Mexico, thence by Albuquerque on the Rio Grande, 
thence down said river to Socarro, thence by what is known as 
Cook's route by way of Santa Cruz and Tucson. At this early 
period in the history of the West, but few emigrants had 
passed over this route, and those who had failed to leave behind 
them a beaten track, and in consequence, Mr. Stoneroad and 
his party were forced in many places to make a road for them- 
selves. "Before arriving at Tucson, buffalo chases and one or 
two harmless Indian engagements are the only incidents worthy 
of note in Mr. Stoneroad's journey across the continent. After 





leaving Tucson, the party proceeded across the country to the 
Rio Gila, better known as Rio Heler River, and struck this river 
at an Indian village called Peroos, which was situated where 
Maricopa Wells Station on the Southern Pacific Railroad now 
stands. The Indians at this village were very peaceably dis- 
posed. From here Mr. Stoneroad and party traveled down the 
Gila over an entire desert country for several hundred miles. 


When the party arrived at the Colorado River they encoun- 
tered the Yuma tribe of Indians who were hostile, and 
demonstrated their unfriendliness by making frequent attacks 
upon them in order to prevent them from crossing the river. 
This country at that time was inhabited only by Indians, and 
so, in the absence of a ferry-boat by which to cross the river 
Mr Stoneroad's party had to improvise one by cutting down 
dead cottonwood trees standing along the banks, and lashina 
them together, thus forming a raft upon which they rolled 
their wagons, and with cottonwood sticks used as oars, paddled 
across While the work of building their raft was in progress, 
they were annoyed and harrassed by frequent attacks from the 
Indians on both sides of the river. These Indians finally suc- 
ceeded in damaging the party to the extent of stealing several 
valuable mules. After leaving the Colorado R.ver the party 
came to Los Angeles, and from thence up the coast to San Jose. 
At this time there was no road whatever from Los Angeles by 
way of Four Creeks or Visalia. 

Mr. Stoneroad arrived in San Jose sometime dnrmgth 
month of October, 1849, and after remaining m tha tv> lage 
several days looking for business, and findmg none smtable, he 
olthenJdayof November of ^ year, left for the = 
Mariposa, crossing the coast range of mountain s at Pache- 
Pass and arriving in Agua Fria, Mariposa County, m thelatte. 

mui Z witn mode™ facilities for traveling tourney ^n 

to the readers of thr sketch ^ ^ ^ 

changes winch have aken pi ce ^^ ^ 

^to the present civiUsation -P^J^ 
No man did mo« > nerther does any ^ ^^ 

credit for what he d,d towards the M ^ 

ment of the great o the <n ^ ^ ^ ^ 
agricultural regions east of he ban ^^ 

H- B - T 1 . POSS clIa t h^ough a life of 
goods upon -^r^Tn'dustry.succeeded in acqu, 
honest, arduous, and persevei b ^ & ^ 

thus engaged in building for himself he assisted many another 
up the rounds of fortune's ladder. 


At Agua Fria Mr. Stoneroad at first engaged in the busi- 
ness of mining, and continued thus to employ his time for 
several months, meeting with fair success, when, becoming 
tired of mining, he launched forth into the mercantile business 
at Horseshoe Bend, on the Merced River, in Mariposa County, 
and continued in that business at that place until October, 
1850, when he moved his store to Garota, No. 2, in Tuolumne 
County, where he continued the business of merchandising 
until the fall of 1851, when, having accumulated quite a sum 
of monev, he returned to the State of Arkansas. He remained 
in Arkansas until the spring of 1S52. He again started over- 
land for California, by way of El Paso, in company with a 
party which he had formed for that purpose. An incident 
worthy of note, and which came near proving fatal to the 
whole party, occurred on this second trip West. When about 
150 miles the other side of El Paso they were attacked by a 
large band of Apache Indians, who, while they did not suc- 
ceed in killing any of the party, owing to the stubborn resist- 
ance with which they were met, yet did contrive to stampede 
and run off all their horses and mules, leaving the whole party 
in a manner, afoot. There were one or two ox-teams in the 
company, which the Indians did not get, and so Mr. Stoneroad 
and many others of the party had to leave their wagons and 
much of their personal effects on the plains, but employed the 
owners of the ox-teams to haul their provisions and blankets 
to El Paso, where Mr. Stoneroad bought an ox-team and 
continued his journey by way of Los Angeles and Visalia, 
arriving at his old home in Mariposa in the fall of 18o2. 

During the winter of 1852-53, Mr. Stoneroad again engaged 
in the business of mining, meeting with better success than 
before and thereby accumulating several thousand dollars. 

ing for himself, not, it is true, a 

fortune, but, at least, a com- 

fortable competency. 

An d,beitsaidtohisered;t,thatwhde 


In the spring of 1853, Mr. Stoneroad, together with his father 
and three other gentlemen, formed a partnership under the firm 
name of Stoneroads, Cathey, McCreary & Kelly, for the pur- 
nose of engaging in the business of stock-racing. 
P ^ Stoneroad bought a tract of land lying on Manposa 
Creek, in Merced County, about five miles southeast of where 
the town of Plainsburg now stands, and t ere bmlt hun 
house, and established headquarters for the cattle ranch . Th 
business of cattle-raising was entered into and contmuedby the 
"m until the spring of 185,, when Cathey and McCreary 
d ew out, and the business was then continued by Mr Stone- 
7 and Kelly under the firm name of Stoneroad & Kelly, 
Ttil »e y n the firm was dissolved. Fromthrs timeunti, 



1869 Mr. Stoneroad conducted the business alone. Cattle-rais- 
ing proved exceedingly remunerative, and enabled Mr. Stone- 
road to amass quite a large sum of money, amounting in the 
aggregate at the time he sold out in 1869 to more than §100,000. 


During the time he was engaged in the cattle business, the 
whole of the southern portion of Merced County was used for 
grazing purposes, and the title to the land was in the Govern- 
ment, which enabled Mr. Stoneroad and others engaged in the 
business to graze their cattle without hindrance or let over a 
vast territory covered with a most luxurious growth of the 
very best grasses for stock-raising purposes. At this time it 
was thought that this portion of the county was unfit for 
agriculture, but about the year 1867 private individuals, few in 
numbers, began to test the capacity of soil and climate, and 
soon it was demonstrated beyond doubt that all classes of 
cereals could be raised with profit. 

As soon as the adaptability of the soil to agricultural pur- 
poses was established, it became generally known, and immedi- 
ately the Government began to transfer its title into the hands 
of enterprising farmers, who in a short time took possession, 
and thereafter a " cattle man " was not " monarch of all he 

Many were the difficulties experienced by Mr. Stoneroad and 
other stock-raisers on account of their cattle tresspassing upon 
the lands of their neighbors, and soon cattle- raising became 
quite unprofitable. Mr. Stoneroad was forced, in order to 
save himself from loss, to abandon the business, and so "taking 
time by the forelock," he sold, realizing on the whole, as has 
been said, a satisfactory profit. He then turned farmer him- 
self, and from then until now be has proven, by strict attention 
to the business and economical management, that farming as 
well as cattle-raising can be made profitable and even lucrative. 

His farm is situated on the south bank of Mariposa Creek, 
and contains 1,280 acres, all of which is cultivated each year, 
principally in wheat. His dwelling-house is a commodious and 
comfortable brown cottage, standing in the midst of a beautiful 
Cottonwood grove, and is surrounded by evergreens of different 
kinds, and a most magnificent flower -garden. Near the dwell- 
ing is a well which furnishes the coldest water in the San 
Joaquin Valley, and upon the whole the place is the most 
pleasant in all the surrounding countrv. 


In addition to his farming interest, Mr. Stoneroad in 1872 
invested largely in sheep, and began also the business of sheep- 
raising, which he continued to conduct with profit to himself 
in this and in Frvsno Counties, until 1876. 

Mr. Stoneroad, in 1876, together with his two brothers, George 
"W. and Thomas, and William Dickenson, Esq., of San Francisco 

entered into a partnership and started with 10,000 head of 
sheep across the desert to New Mexico. Mr. Stoneroad went 
himself with the sheep as far as the Colorado River, and then 
returned home leaving the sheep in charge of his brother 
George, who succeeded in reaching New Mexico with a loss of 
only 1,000 head. This is the most successful journey with 
sheep that had up to that time, or has since, been made across 
the great Colorado Desert, and fully exemplifies the indomitable 
perseverance and energy of the subject of this sketch. 

Stoneroad Brothers & Dickenson, after arriving in New 
Mexico, bought a grant of land containing over 120,000 acres, 
and commenced the business of sheep-raising on an extensive 
scale, and at this time the increase in sheep and the profits 
from the sales of wool has reached a proportion far beyond the 
expectations of the most sanguine member of the firm at the 
time the business was first undertaken. 

When Mr. Stoneroad came to California he was not 
married. For sixteen years he continued to live in this wild 
West without seeking a wife. In 1865 he became acquainted 
with a lady whose history and adventures as a pioneer extended 
over a greater period of time than his own, and whose enticing 
manners and amiable disposition captivated his bachelor heart 
at once, and after a courtship of more than a year he was 
united in matrimony to her. 


Mrs. Stoneroad's history is full of interest and deserves special 
mention. She is the second daughter of Gallant D. and Isa- 
bella Dickenson, and was born in Jackson County, Missouri, on 
the eighth day of March, 1835. In 1846 she emigrated to Cal- 
ifornia in company with her father and family (eight in num- 
ber), together with many other fortune-seekers, taking what 
is known as the Northern route, by way of Fort Laramie and 
Fort Jackson, arriving at the latter place on the eighteenth 
day of October, 1846. Her party were only three days in 
advance of the ill-fated Dormer party, most of whom lost their 
lives from" cold and starvation, about whom so much has been 
written, and' over whose untimely deaths so many tears of 
sympathy have been shed. During Mrs. Stoneroad's journey 
westward, the party with whom she came encountered more 
difficulties and dangers than usually fell to the lot of emigrants 
at that day. They were attacked several times by Indians, 
and upon more than one of these occasions had to battle hard 
for their lives and property, the latter of which they were not 
always successful in saving, as many of their animals were cap- 
tured by these untutored savages. 

In addition to the depredations committed by the Indians, 
the party suffered much from a disease called the mountain 
fever, from which a number died and were left buried out on 
the plains, and while tender hands and loving hearts adminis- 
tered the rites of burial, ever after that no tender hand nor lov- 
ing heart planted flowers upon their last resting-place. At one 



time alt of Mrs. Stoneroad's family except W father and self 
were stricken down by this dreadful disease, and during their 
■Uueas Mr Dickson was compelled to drive two teams, and 
Mrs Stoneroad, though but a child of eleven years, was forced 
to do all the cooking and at the same time administer to ft, 

wants of the sick. 

Fortunately not one of her family was left behind and early 
ta the winter of 1846 they arrived in Santa Clara Santa 
Clara Connty, where they remained until the spring of 1847 
when they moved to Monterey, where they lived for abou 
„e year. Here Mr. Dickenson had brick made and erected 
h first brick building that was ever bnilt in tins State, and 
Si now stands in the town of Monterey, and » noted as 
Jit brick house erected in California. After leavmg 
i nterey, Mr. Dickenson and family went to the mures rn 
ilmn"; and other counties until October, 18,9, when they 
m0 ved to Stockton QQ md hM two 

While they lived at the mines ««=. 
, hL often found themselves objects of curiosity, on 
daughters often to ^ ^ But 

woman in the mines in the days ot *J 

. v, f » .mall villas composed altogether of tents. 

itwasbutasmauviua e i resideMe that was 

Mr. Dickenson put np the fir t b ardre^ ^ 
erecteQ ta St0 ckton, *. -£ - ^ -£* iumto . ^ so 

of plank costing one dollal pel ^ wittl 

scarce and high at that tune, tlebmhli ^ 

cloth. It maybe said, therefore, that Mr. ^ 

known Stockton since its infancy, n IBpl *e 
^ « t, i TT-n ahebeino 1 the second lady maineuiu 
C. S. Peck, Esq., she bem ^ fiwt p , an0 

Her sister Margaret was the first. 

ever brought to Stooktom rf ^ w j Hill 

Her eldest daughter, belle, now ^ 

Se natorlVomMon r ^n r: - : - iaihi50risi n al 
Win Stockton. ^^ "^^en, left Stockton m 
family, two sons-in-law and „ , DickeI150 n's Ferry, on 

1852, and moved to what is known as D- ^ ^ 

the Tuolumne Kiver, in Stanislaus County g ^^ 
noticed under Mr. Dickenson s taPPJ. ^ herhusband , 
moved to Mormon Bar, in U^^T *„„ years , deserted 
who. after living with her there for b ut J ^ 
he , for which cause she ^f^^. and with him 
In 1867 she married mi '. r ■ ^ knoW n as " Locust 

eame to live at his place on , Manp Cree , ^ ^ ^ o£ 
Grove," since which time she has e ^ ^ rf nature 

h „ husband in building up and ^J^^Unt comfort- 

j *i,„ m thus establishing the most u 
around them, thus ^ Joaqum . 

able home in the great valley 

The issue of Mrs. Stoneroad by her first husband are three 
daughters and one son, all of whom are now living. Isabella, 
the eldest, is now the wife of Hon. W. J. Hill, of Salinas 
Monterey County; Udola, one of twins, is now the wife ot 
Frank H. Farrar, present District Attorney of Merced County ; 
Tallula, another of twins, is still single and residing with , her 
mother, and ZwingleG. is a law student in the office ot his 
brother-in-law, Frank H. Farrar, at Merced. The ..sue of 
Mrs. Stoneroad by her present husband Ls four daughters: 
Omaha, now twelve years of age; Natalia, ten years old; 
Lucille, five years old, and Elba, the baby, all ot whom are 
bright and promising children. 

Mr. and Mrs. Stoneroad have .both passed the meridian 
life, but neither of them show sign , of decay on accoun oi old 
a „ . Both have lived lives of honesty, and both are honW 
Jnd useful members of the community in which they Iv. 
May many years be added to their lives, and m h 
children and their children's children rise up to call 



m T Givens was born in Union County, Kentucky, 

Ocr^lTla-parentswere Thomas and^e 
Give ns His residence until manhood was near Caseyv.l*, 

a connection oi' Gen. U.S. Grant. 

Hel ^rC""^.C:MLuri,and 
land route, by way ot W. ^ ^^ 

*» Lake ^;^ he Xlwe P eks, and then joined a 
Brothers remained* ^ U ^ ^ ^.^ „ 

eompany having old Dncle 0ucamonga Kancho 

guide, and going sou hw id an- ^ ^ ^ 

in October and sp—f^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ 

EiVeI ' rtW ending a tedious journey of six months and 
Bernardino, theie end „ . incident, 

twenty days, almost devoid o mt stag ^ ^ 

In March, 1850, he concluded te >y 

m T f w ^ra:r:Xi--~- 


• of that day John W. Childs shot and 

Early in the morning of **** for assistanc . Four 

wo nnded a g** bear, and c - ^ ^ ^ t0 the 

;:^:":S--- - «- ° ff 



as soon as the party appeared, when Childs and Givens shot the 
old bear, but without killing her. After following them for 
several hours the party came upon them in a chaparral 
thicket, where the fight ended. Givens being in close prox- 
imity to the bear lost about one-half of his scalp and was 
otherwise badly bitten, but Childs, with true heroism, stood by 
him and after firing three shots succeeded in dispatehing the 
bear at the imminent risk of killing Givens. The cubs made 
good their escape. This adventure put an end to his mining 
operations. After- long suffering he recovered, and in 1851, 
about a year after the encounter with the bear, he returned 
to his father's home in Kentucky. 

His parents emigrated to California in 1852. In 1853 he 
married Miss Martha F. Pratt, of Morganfield, county seat of 
Union County/Kentucky, and again began the overland 
journey to California by his former route to Salt Lake, thence 
by the Humboldt and Carson route to Volcano, from whence 
he continued -his journey to the old Texas Rancho in Mariposa 
County, then owned by his father, with whom he remained 
during the winter, and where his first child, Mary Louisa, was 


In 1854 he settled on Bear Creek, ten miles above the present 

site of Merced City. His second daughter, Matilda Frances, 

was born at his residence on Bear Creek. He lived there when 

Merced County was organized, and helped to elect her first 

officers. It was at this ranch that the first Court was held ) 

under the trees. 

In 1856 he moved to Mariposa Creek, where in 1S5S his 

eldest son, James William, was born. He soon after bought 
1G0 acres of the adjoining land. 

In 1867 his wife died at her sister's residence in East Oakland. 
He then left his daughter in Mills' Seminary at Benicia, and 
returned home with his son, whom he afterward educated at 
the California Military Academy at Oakland. 

In 1S70 he married Miss Adelaide M. Brooks, a native of 
Canada, but a resident of Sheboygan, Wisconsin, by whom he 
has four boys and one girl: Arlington Brooks, Helen Libbie 
Eleazer Virgil, Thomas Thrift, and Frederick Campbell Givens. 
In 1875 he bought more land, the whole amount making 
1,300 acres, through which the Central Pacific Railroad and all 
of the branches of tlie Mariposa Creek pass. His ranch is situ- 
ated seven miles from the county seat, twelve miles from San 
Joaquin River, two and one-half miles from the school house, 
and four miles from the church at Plainsburg; is composed 
chiefly of good agricultural wheat land, producing an average 
of about twenty-five bushels of wheat, and fifty bushels of 
barley to the acre. 

Usual number of cattle, ten head; horses and mules, twenty- 
five; small flock of sheep for home consumption, and from 100 
to 500 head of hogs yearly. He has a good orchard and vine- 
yard of about one and one-quarter acres. His pasture of 
ninety acres is under fence, and there is sufficient timber of oak 
and ash for home use on the farm. 


March 14, 1850, there arrived at San Francisco, the sailing 
vessel, Mcmj Watterman, Captain Higgins ; which sailed from . 
New Orleans around Cape Horn, having on board Mr. S. K. 
Spears, the subject of this sketch. 

Mr, Spears was born January 17, 1S27, in New York. 
Studied law and taught school during the time he lived east of 
the Rocky Mountains, until he, also, was taken with the excite- 
ment which the stories about California brought forth, and he 
determined to venture there. Accordingly he left New Orleans 
per sailing vessel. The trip was pleasant as far as the crew 
and ship were concerned, but it took six months and fourteen 
days to reach San Francisco. Mr. Spears was cast away for a 
few days in a fearful storm off Cape Horn, and came near 

being lost. 

The first occupation he applied himself to after arriving in 
the Golden State, was to dig some of its gold out. He suc- 
ceeded very well but thinking that diversified industry pays 
best, he went to mining apd hotel keeping at Winters' Bar, on 
the Mokelumne River, and afterwards went to farming in Ama- 
dor County. 

He stayed in Amador County from 1851 until 1856, and 
there, in 1853, married his wife, a Miss M. J. Wigginton, native 
of Wisconsin, with whom he came in 1857 into this count}', to 
his present home. He has three children, viz.: Peter Wiggin- 
ton, Minnie A., and Mary Frances Spears. 

Mr. Spears is engaged in farming, raising cattle, horses and 
sheep. He has six head of cattle, thirty hogs, 3,000 sheep, and 
nine horses; has a beautiful orchard of fifty apple trees, fifty 
peach trees, forty apricots, and thirty six plum trees, besides a 
number of various other fruit trees, the orange tree not excepted. 
His land is of the very best river bottom, yields large crops, 
and is partly planted with vegetables — producing very good, 
sweet potatoes. It comprises ISO acres, is twenty-two miles 
from the county seat and railroad, and one mile from school. 
A church can be found within four miles. 

In the Argus of November, 1871, we find the following 
notice of one of the productions of Mr. Spears farm, which 
shows what was being raised at that date: " Mr. S. K. Spears 
sent us this week a sack of sweet potatoes — yams — about a 
dozen in the sack, which beat any thing of the kind we have 
seen yet. They average about four pounds each. We are told, 
however, by other gentlemen, that the size is not unusual as 
many crops turn out equally large ones. Mr. Spears has ten 
or twelve acres of potatoes, now being gathered on his ranch, 
and sent us these as specimens." 

Mr. Spears has lived through all the great excitements of the 
last thirty years, and took part in everything where the peo- 
ple's interest was concerned. Ho has endeavored to advance 
his county and neighborhood in all that would add to their 




Gallant Duncan Dickenson, a pioneer of 1846, was born in 
Rutherford County, Pennsylvania, on the sixth day of October. 
1806. At an early age he was taken to Virginia, where he 
was reared to manhood. He returned to Pennsylvania and 
was married in 182S to Isabella M. McCrary. Five years suc- 
ceeding their marriage they started for the West, and joining 
the tide of emigration then setting toward the fast opening 
country beyond the Mississippi, they settled in Jackson County, 
Missouri, in 1833. Here they passed thirteen years. In 1846 
they left on their overland trip to the far-off Pacific Slope. 

On the sixth of November, 1846, they rested their weary 
ox-teams this side of the Sierras, in Santa Clara County, after 
five months weary journeying across the continent. 

Since then his home has been in California. They raised six 
children, four sons and two daughters, to man and womanhood. 

In 1847, he, with his family, located in Monterey County. 
He built the first brick house in the town of Monterey, which 
has its place in history as the first brick house in California* 

In 1848, he, with his family, went to the mines, spending 
the winter of that year at Mokelumne Hill. The gulch that 
now bears the name of Dickenson's Gulch, was named for him 


His wife and two daughters were the first white ladies in 
that and many other parts of the then new mines. They were 
honored and respected by all, and were at times a great curi- 
osity as being the only white ladies in the new country. 

In the fall of 1849 he moved to Stockton, then a town built 
of tents. He built the first hotel in Stockton, a large two-story 
house, at a cost of S60,000, named the Dickenson House. The 
lumber in the house cost one dollar per foot. It rented for . 
82,500 per month, and did a very heavy business. 

He filled the position of Alcalde in that town while the county 
was under the old Spanish law. 

He moved to the Tuolumne River in September, 1852, bought 
out the ferry and built a fine hotel and boat which he kept for 
many years. After selling out this property he built a fine 
residence on the south side of the Tuolumne River, Stamslaus 
County, where he lived and reared his family. 

In the fall of 1867, his children having all married off, and 
the house seeming so lonely for him and tis wife, he sold out 
and they made their home with their daughter Mrs. N. B. 
Stoneroad, in Merced County, until his death, which occurred 
while on a visit to Snelling on October 25, 1869. His wife 
survived him eight years, when she died at her danger , M , 
M. E. Lawrey, in the city of San Jose, on the fourteenth day 
of March, in the year of our Lord, 1877. 


This Mrs. Lawrey was the first ^^Ay^n^n Stock- 

ton, and Mrs. N. B. Stoneroad was the second white lady mar- 
ried in that town. They are both sisters of Mr. George Win- 
chester Dickenson. 

G. D. Dickenson was converted and was a member of the 
Methodist Church South for forty years before his death. His 
house was the home of all traveling ministers. His hand was 
open to the poor and needy. He was first in the church, first 
in sickness, and first in the hearts of his family and friends. 


G. W. Dickenson is a pioneer of 1846, and arrived in Santa 
Clara County with his father, G. D. Dickenson, on November 
6, 1846. The subject of this sketch was born in Jackson 
County, Missouri, and came with the family overland by the 
Donner Lake route. In 1847 they lived in Monterey County. 
In 1848, at Mokelumne Hill, and 185S located in Merced 
County and engaged in stock-raising. 


His farm of 800 acres is located at a place called Chester, 
but better known as Dickenson's Ferry, on the San Joaquin 
River. Here he has a convenient hotel, situated on the county 
road from Merced to Gilroy, via Los Banos. Here is also the 
post-office for the surrounding country. There is a tri-weekly 
mail. The stage leaves Merced for Los Banos and Gilroy, 
Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, and returns from Los Banos, 
Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Chester is eighteen miles 
from Merced. A view of the Ferry and surroundings is given 
elsewhere. The farm is devoted mostly to stock-raising. He 
keeps cattle, horses and hogs. 

He married Miss Mary Ann Brooks, a native of Illinois, in 
1867. Their children's names are Archie, George W., Henry, 
Isabelle and Mary Dickenson. 


'Described in 

Elliott & Moore's History of Monterey County. 

Among those who came into the county before it was an 
agricultural one, was Mr. Job Wheat, a native of Courtland 
County, New York, which place he left March 19, 1873. He 
came "around the Horn" in 195 days and saw rather rough 
times, lauding in San Francisco in August. He started imme- 
diately for the mining region of Mariposa County, where his 
search for gold was not very successful, and at the end of a 
year in 1874, came to Merced County and engaged in farming 
and stock-raising on a ranch of 280 acres, three miles from 
Merced It is of a black, heavy soil, and the yield of wheat is 
twenty bushels per acre, and of barley fifty bushels. He keeps 
about twenty horses, besides a number of cattle and hogs. 

In 1S69 he married Mary C. Bush, a native of Canada. 
They have children named Nellie, Fronie, William, Joanna, 
Rosie, Irving and Leona Wheat. 




When Mr. Wheal first settled in Merced County, large 
herds of cattle roamed about at will over the plains, and were 
gathered together at rodeos described elsewhere. Their nearest 
neighbor was on the Merced River, some fifteen miles distant. 
The second family was at Montgomery's Grove. This was the 
condition of the plains until the advent of the railroad, which 
came near Mr. Wheat's farm. Large bands of sheep were 
herded and roamed over the plains, and at one time Mr. Wheat 
had a band of 7,000, but as agriculture began to receive 
attention, stock-raising was abandoned, and in 1878 Mr. Wheat 
went out of the sheep business. He was County Assessor from 
1862 to 1864. 


J. O'Donnell is another of the few old pioneers left among 
us. They are scattered over the country, or else have passed 
to that great undiscovered bourne to which those who are left 
are hastening. He came across the plains in 1S49, and was 
seven months in making the trip. He left Dubuque, Iowa, and 
landed, October 7, 1S49, at Lawson's Ranch, on the Sacramento 
River, after an uneventful journey. 

Like the pioneer of '49, he repaired to the mines at once after 
arrival. For five or six years he followed that business in 
Nevada and Sierra Counties with very good success. He was 
one among the first residents of Nevada City. He afterwards 
lived in Downieville. 

He came to Merced in 1875, and engaged in farming. His 
ranch is 920 acres, very favorably situated, being only three 
and one-half miles from the county seat and railroad facilities. 
A school is only one mile distant. The farm is first-class creek 
land, producing good crops annually of wheat and barley. Of 
the latter it will average thirty bushels to the acre, and of 
wheat twenty bushels. He has a fair orchard of assorted fruit 
trees and a garden for family use. His two-story residence is 
surrounded with trees and enclosed by a picket fence. Other 
substantial fences enclose the immediate surroundings of the 
house and the outbuildings. As the farm is devoted to grain 
but littie stock is kept except for farm use, but some twenty- 
five mules and a few horses are required to do the ploughing 
and harvesting. 

Mr. O'Donnell is one of the successful farmers of Merced, 
and by judicious management makes farming pay every year. 
He married Miss Elizabeth Long in 184-8, who was a native 
of Wayne County, Ohio. They have one boy, William 
Thomas O'Donnell, and three girls named Margaret, Mary, and 
Lizzie O'Dunnell. 


Looking through the illustrations of the County History, we 
cannot fail to observe the large view representing the house of 
TIr. Adam Kahl, situated on Mariposa Creek, Merced County. 

The farm belonging to Mr. Kahl embraces 2,000 acres of fine 
sediment land, well watered by the Mariposa Creek, and dotted 
with groves of bushes. A ride of ten miles will bring the 
visitor to the county seat, a walk of one mile to the church or 
school, and one of three and one-half miles to the railroad. 

Mr. Kahl is the son of Jacob and Catherine Kahl. He was 
bom September 6, 1825, in Franklin County, Pennsylvania, 
where he remained during his early youth, to attend school and 
do some farming under his father's directions. Later on he 
resided in Richland County, Ohio, and then in Carroll County, 
Indiana. There he first had the idea of going to California. 
He did not hesitate long, but left Carroll County, near Delphi, 
Illinois, in 1849, and going down the Wabash River to the 
Mississippi, he took passage on a steamer for New Orleans, 
and there embarking on a sailing Vessel, he left for Chagres on 
the Isthmus, where- he landed. 

After packing his blankets across the Isthmus to Panama, 
he embarked again on the bark Alyoma for San Francisco_ 
where he arrived June 20, 1850, making the whole trip in 
eighty-one days. 

He mined for four yeaTS on Butte Flat, Mokelumne Hill and 
River, with fair success. Then getting desirous to see his old 
home again he, in 1855, returned to the East, visiting his 
parents with whom he stayed during the winter. Then he 
visited Iowa, and two years later w r ent to Pettiss County, Mis- 
souri, where his heart was captivated. 

He married Miss Lydia A. Spangenberg, a native of Luzerne 
County, Pennsylvania, daughter of G. Spangenberg, July 4, 
185S. He stayed East two years longer, but could not resist 
the attractions of California. 

This time he made the trip by ox-team across the continent, 
taking the northern route through Utah, and by way of Car- 
son, over the summit to Calaveras County, Big Trees, and 
arrived at Snelling, Merced County, in October, 1859. He 
afterwards moved to Pajaro Valley, Monterey County, and 
finally in December, I860, to his present home. 

Mr. Kahl has five children living. Their names are: Ernest 
D., Maud Alice, George A., Charles W., and Arthur S. Kahl. 
Peter O., another child of Mr. Kuhl, died November, lSG4 f 
aged one year and ten months. 


We copy the following notice of his farm, written in 1871: 
"Adam Kahl has some two thousand acres of first-class Mari- 
posa Creek land, in a high state of cultivation, and has just 
completed a splendid brick structure for a residence. The 
farm we consider a model one, provided with large, well- 
stored barns, granaries, good fences, wells, wind-mills, etc., and 
well stocked with cattle, horses, hogs, and poultry. In fact, 
we believe that Mr. Kahl can show as fine specimens of the 
genus horse as any one in the entire valley. 

"He is an old settler in that portion of the county, and has 



thoroughly tested the capabilities of the soil for the production 
of cereals, by farming his lands throughout a series of years; ! 
and the investment for the erection of such substantial and 
costly buildings will not fail to give confidence to many doubt- 
ing ones, who have just come into the country." 

The Argus of 1S7G says about the fruit raised on Mr. Kahl's 
place, that the specimens of figs and pomegranates, sent them 
by Mrs. Adam Kahl, prove conclusively that these delicious 
fruits can be raised to perfection in this part of the valley; 
and as fig and pomegranate trees require but little more 
attention to raise them than any of the hardier fruit trees of 
the temperate zones in this climate, they can no doubt be 
cultivated upon an extensive scale, profitably. These fruits 
will bear shipment to any part of the world, as they always 
command* good prices, and are considered staple commodities 
in all markets. 

Mr. Kahl has always been active in all organizations for the 
benefit of the farmers, and has taken a lively interest in all 
their deliberations, as well as in all organizations calculated to 
benefit his fellow- citizens and to advance the interest of his 
neighborhood and county. 


John C. Smith, proprietor of the "Cosmopolitan," is a 
pioneer of the State. He was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, and 
there as a mere child acquired the principles and habits of life 
and business that have always governed him, and caused him to 
rise against repeated adverse fortune, to the position he occu- 
pies to-day. 

He started for California via Panama in the spring of 
1S50 arriving in San Francisco in July of that year. 
Be«an mining on the American River near Murderer's Bar, 
himself and partner dividing 36,000 profits at the end of three 
munths. He then resumed his business of bar-keeping in San 
Francisco, remaining there for about two years, when he went 
to Tuolumne County, and was engaged in saloon-keeping until 
1858. He again gave his entire attention to mining, both 
quartz and placer, for the ensuing five years, with varied for- 
tune, but was successful in the end, pluck and perseverance con- 

^Helhen started asaloon in Sonova, Tuolumne County, which 
soon took the lead in that place, and many of the leading men 
of the State to-day, and more of those who to the regret of all 
have passed away, know and knew the old "Baffle of Sonora, 
which was destroyed by fire three different times, leaving M, 
Smith with only his good name and indomitable will to make 

a new start with. 

Ten years ago Br. Smith left Sonora and opened the poneer 
saloon of the Yo Semite Valley, kno.n, li *aybe ■-*. 
throughout the civile world as the - Cosmopohta . rf the Yo 
Semite Valley," and it was during the four years of M, Smath 

personal attention to the business in the valley that he became 
so widely and favorably known, as shown by numerous tokens 
of regard and remembrance from tourists and travelers from 
different parts of the world. 

On December 9, 1873, the " Cosmopolitan of Merced " was 
opened by Mr. Smith, who though still retaining his interest in 
the valley has, by his personal attention, given it the celebrity 
which it has attained not only in Merced and adjoining coun- 
ties", but throughout the State, both for the purity and worth of 
the goods and the elegance and taste displayed in its furnishing 
The last display of Mr. Smith's enterprise is shown in the 
addition of an oyster depot and restaurant in the rear of his 
saloon, which in every respect will compare with any place of 
similar business in the State, it being opened and conducted 
upon the same principles that has made the Cosmopolitan what 
it is to-day. 

"We give elsewhere a view of the interior of the Cosmopol- 
itan, which gives some idea of' the arrangement of this saloon. 
But no engraving can show the beautiful woods and frescoing. 
A full description is given elsewhere. 


The following notice we take from the Express :— 

"On the eighth day of June, 1875, our fellow-townsman, 

John C. Smith, at that time a resident of Yo Semite Valley, 

accompanied A. H. T. Bruce and party to the far-famed 

Glacier Point. Arriving at the top of the giddy heights, Mr. 

Bruce's horse, a genuine Mexican plug, became frightened and 

be«an to buck within twenty feet of the edge of the precipice, 

helding toward the awful chasm below. Just as the vicious 

brute reached the edge of the precipice, Mr. Smith jumped 

j from his saddle and caught him by the bit until Bruce 

i could dismount. Mr. Bruce turning to Mr. Smith exclaimed: 

■You have saved my life.' 

»He immediately drew a check on the Bank of California for 
I S500 and offered it to Mr. Smith, who refused to accept it, 
1 saying 'I have only performed my duty, and will not accept 
pay for it ' Sometime elapsed after Mr. Bruce and party U t 
the valley, when one day there came an express package for 
Mr Smith, which upon being opened was found to contain a 
m0 st beautiful lime squeezer with gold plate engravings, and 
a note from Mr. Bruce asking Mr. Smith to accept it as a 
token of his appreciation of his noble act on the heights at 
Glacier Point. This lime squeezeris valued at S120, andisnow 
on exhibition at the Cosmopolitan. 

«In addition to the above valuable present, Mr. Smith 
received from Mr. Bruce two gross of bar glasses one gross for 
use at the Cosmopolitan beautifully engraved, J, 0. S the 
other gross for use at the Cosmopolitan in the Yo Semite Val- 
^vith the initial letters of the firm, "8. and H. » engraved 




This pioneer was bom on the twenty-eighth of June, 1800. 
at a place seven miles below what was known at the time as 
Red Stone Fort, but now Brownsville, Washington County, 
Pennsylvania. In 1810 the family emigrated to Ohio, in a 
thinly settled part. No school was nearer than twenty-five 
miles. In 1820 he went to Missouri. Here he met John 
Hawkins, and these two finally found themselves settled on 
the Merced River in 1852. 

In St. Louis, in 1822, Griffith joined the Ashley expedition 
to go up the Missouri River, which consisted of sixty men. 
They started in a large keel-boat for the mouth of the Yellow- 
stone. They returned the following year. In 1824 he went 
to New Mexico and Santa W4, opened a gun and smith sho P! 
and accumulated money. In 1830 ho went to Sonora and met 
with many strange adventures. In 1831 we find him run- 
ning a variety store at Hermosillo. Finally, in 1848 he set 
out for Los Angeles, California. 

Mr. J. Griffith was brought up very wisely. He had to 
work on the farm to strengthen the body, and to attend scbo 01 
to strengthen his mind. He studied medicine and practiced as 
a doctor when twenty-four years of age. He kept up his 
practice until 1874, having bad good success throughout. 

July 25,lS44,hewas married to Miss Fanna Arreas. a native 
of Sonora, Mexico; and. in 1848 he made up his mind to emi- 
grate to California. He arrived in this State in 1848 and 
-went to mining. First he mined at Amador with old man 
Amador, then at Volcano and Mokelumne Hill. 

November 15, 1848, he discovered Jackson Creek, Amador 
County, and afterwards he went to Los Angeles, finally settling 
down in this county, which he entered in September, 1S50. 


Mr. Griffith claims to be the first one to sow wheat in the 
bottom-lands and on the plains. This was in 1851 when he 
went to Santa Cruz and purchased seed wheat, corn, chickens, 
two or three dogs and cats, and returned to the Merced. This 
wheat he claims was the first sown in San Joaquin Valley 
south of Stockton. 

When he settled on the Merced there were only three other 
persons on the river, namely: Samuel Scott, J. M. Montgom- 
ery, and James Waters. While engaged in erecting a house 
he encamped in the open air, under a wide-spread oak, which 
still stands. Here his wife gave birth to his first-born son. 


In 1853 he built a small flouring mill, the machinery of 
which was propelled by water taken from the Merced River 
by a ditch some two miles Jong. The mill was erected solely 
for bis own use. It was the first water-power grist-mill south 
of Stockton in the valley. It was swept awuy by the flood 
of 1861-62. 

It is quite pleasing to listen to Mr. Griffith and hear his 
early adventures which he experienced in Mexico and Cali- 
fornia. He has endured many hardships, but overcame them 
all and to-day is at rest with his family, consisting of his wife 
and four children, named: Mary, Frank, Merced, and William 
Frederick, in his little home on the Merced River. His home, 
which is so pleasantly situated, overlooks the river and gives a 
splendid view all around, and his adjoining orchard contains 
most all the tropical and serai-tropical, as well as northern 
fruits, of which many varieties of nuts and dates are to be 
especially praised. The home is located twelve miles from the 
county seat, eight miles from railroad, twenty-five miles from 
water communication, three miles from church, and three- 
quarters of a mile from school. His farm consists of 470 acres 
of dark loam and bottom-land of Merced River, and his stock 
consists of twenty-five head of cattle, fifty sheep and fifteen 


William C. Turner set out April 12, 1S49, like thousands of 
others, for the then far distant land of gold. He left Green 
County, Missouri, intending to go on the northern route but 
hearino- that the cholera prevailed among those on that road* 
his party, consisting of 150 men, went on a route further south. 
The trip over the plains was pleasant and an occasional hunt 
after buffalo and antelope relieved the monotony of the journey, 
and to Mr. Turner belonged the credit of shooting the first buf- 

The first settlement reached was a place called Los Bafios, a 
small town in New Mexico. At this place the party sold their 
wagons and teams and bought pack mules and employed two 
guides to pilot them through the mountains to Salt Lake. It 
was a long and tiresome journey and provisions became scarce 
before they arrived at their destination. The party stopped at 
Utah Lake, some sixty miles south of Salt Lake, while an advance 
party went ahead to buy provisions. It was now September 
15, 1849, and the Mormons said no passage could be made of the 
Sierra Nevada on account of the snow. But the party under 
the guidance of James Waters reach Los Angeles without 
trouble. From there they came through the Tejon Pass at 
the head of Tulare Lake, and crossing the various streams, 
reached a place afterwards called Fort Miller. Here resting 
a few days they went to a place called Fine Gold Gulch and 
did some prospecting. From there they went on to Mariposa 


After crossing the San Joaquin large bands of wild elk were 
met with, They were a magnificent animal with wide-spread- 
ing horns and quite shy and fleet of foot. Here one of the 
party, in following one band got lost in a fog and wandered 
about for eighteen days. His name was Thomas Brul. When 
found he was on the Merced River in a hollow log. His feet 



were so badly frost-bitten that he lost some of his toes. He 
■was taken to a New York company camped on the Merced a 
ro ile below the present residence of Mr. Turner. He returned 
to Alabama without trying his luck in the mines. 

Mr Turner reached the Mariposa mines the eighth of Decem- 
ber 1849, and began operations on Shirlock's Creek. Having 
brought sheet iron with them they made what the miners eall 
a "cradle" and from the dirt obtained gold very fast, some 
days taking out fourteen ounces of gold. He remained in Mar- 
iposa County until 1852. 

September, 1852, he settled on the Merced River and 
engaged in general farming and stock-raising. In the winter 
of 1852 he raised a good crop. 

His farm consists of 2,500 acres of good land only eight miles 
from the railroad. Water facilities of shipping are on the farm, 
as may be seen by examining the large view of Mr. Turner's 
ranch His home is in a splendid situation on the river bank, 
surrounded with large oak and other trees. Everything about 
the place is home like. The house is surrounded by picket 
fence and shaded by trees. A fine orchard of apple, peach, 
apricots, plums, figs and grapes, produces in abundance with- 
out irrigation. The general character of the farm u a sandy 
loam producing of wheat about twelve bushels per acre; of 
barley twenty bushels. Corn and potatoes also do well on the 
bottom-lands. He has some of the most substantial barns in 
the county, and the farm is well fenced. 

He keeps on an average about 1,000 head of cattle, 1,800 
sheep 1 200 hogs, 75 horses, and 25 mules. A small Eastern 
farmer cannot realize the above figures, and that the above 
amount of stock are all upon one farm. 

W C Turner was born February 15, 1827, m Caswell 
County,' North Carolina. From there his parents moved to 
TWssee, and thence to Greene County, Missouri - 1 3o and 
engaged in farming and stock-raising, and thence to Cahfomia, 

"Hetrried Miss Elisabeth Wallings in 1860, who « born 
in New Madrid County, Missouri. They have eigh child.* 
as follows : William E., John A., Thomas C, Mary E., Har 
riett K, Lucinda E., Diana B. and Eva L. Turner. 

Robert Johnson Steele was born in Richmond «^JJ 

Carolina, October 22,1822. In ™"^^*£^* 

Tennessee, where they resided until Robert was «^ 

age ; they then moved to Ripley, M« J-j£ ~ 

until the breaking out of the Mexican War m 
jomed the FirstRegimentof Mississippi Voluntees.w 

entering upon active service, in Mexico, beeam nfie 
«* u^nder command of Colonel ^£*J^ and 
at the storming of Monterey, on the ^t^2 
23 d of December, 1846, and also at the battle of Bu^ 
the 22d and 23d daysof February, 1847. OnJuneM* 

term for which he volunteered having expired, he returned to 
his home in Mississippi. In March, 1849, he started with the 
first emigrants across the plains for California, by the south- 
ern route, Fort Smith, Arkansas, being the place of rendezvous 
for overland emigrants that year. Arrived in California, in 
September, of the same year. For two years he mined, mostly 
on the middle fork of the American River; he then went home 
to Mississippi with several thousand dollars— the result of his 
two years' mining. In 1852 he returned to California, and has 
ever since been engaged in journalism. He married Mrs. 
Rowena Granice, at Salmon Falls, on the thirteenth of June, 



W. L. Means is another of the early arrivals in California. 
He was born in Butler County, Alabama, November 29, 1827, 
and when young he emigrated with his parents to western 
Texas, a thinly settled section. At the breaking out of the 
Mexican War he joined a company of Texan cavalry. He 
took part in the battle of Monterey, and other engagements. 
When his term of enlistment expired he returned to his home 

on tbe frontier. 

In 1849 he started for California, from Limestone County, 
Texas, and, coming by way of Mexico, arrived safely m San 
Francisco, August 22. 1850; thence to Tuolumne County and 
thence to Mariposa County. He afterwards lived on Bear 
Creek, in Mariposa County, which was afterward mcluded m 

"made a visit to Texas, and was married in 1869, to Miss 

Eliz abeth Thompson, a native of Alabama Th.r child. 

are named William W, Eva, Blanch, and L. ZZ ie Means. His 
m consists of seventy-five acres of Merced River bottom 

lr Snelling, which is very productive, and produce, fifty 
Whel» of corn and 100 bushels of potatoes to the acre. It » 
Stl two miles from school and church. Mr. Means was 
s,tuatedtwo repreS ents his district at the 

elected Supervisor in 187 J, ana rep 
present time, to the satisfaction of Ins constants. 


J J Stevenson resides on the left bank of the Merced River 

d - J -° , , , - M ^c, sultrvrays of the sun by 

The residence is shade f om th u ^ ^ 

noble fig^s, - /.her fine^ ^ Mt o£ 

The oaks " immediate vicinity of the dwelling is 

g ' S Uent — with a great variety of choice fruit trees, 
^t ^vineyard and garden. The whole farm . 
Closed by a sub— J^ ^ fa _ 

The f;W httrantlrroundings, a stern-whee, 

^ SkC h 1 navil the river, may be observed through 
steamer, such as nav^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ Qn ^ 

"presents a beautiful appearance, surrounded, a, 



the home is, with so many fine trees. The reader will notice 
that the place is well fenced, and the yard enclosed and laid 
out in flowers and shrubs. The out-buildings are numerous 
and ample, and the whole presents a scene of neatness, thrift, 
and prosperity. 

The farm is best adapted to stock-raising, and contains 
15,000 acres. On the place is usually kept 3,000 sheep, 1,500 
head of cattle, and thirty horses, besides other stock. It is in 
many respects the finest farm in the county. The railroad is 
only eleven miles distant. The nearness to both water and 
railroad communication adds immensely to the value of the 
property. A school is within two miles, but the county seat 
with its church can only be reached after a journey of twenty- 
six miles, which, however, is nothing for Mr. Stevenson, who 
rode once 600 miles on muleback, in seven and one-half days. 
The soil is very fair, and would yield good crops if it were 
cultivated, as is shown by the few acres around the residence, 
which are improved. 

James J. Stevenson was born November 6, 1828, in Boone 
County, Missouri. He remained with his parents, Archibald 
and Charlotte Stevenson, while a child, and was afterwards 
raised at his uncle's fa rm, where he remained until he became 
eighteen years of age (1846), when he joined the trading trains 
attached to General Kearny's Division, crossing with them 
the plains, and arriving at Santa Fe^ New Mexico, in 1846. 
He spent the winter on the Del Norte River, and on the road 
to Santa Fe', with Colonel Doniphan's regiment. He arrived 
March 1, 1847, at Chihuahua, where he unexpectedly met his 
.father, whom he had not seen for eleven years. He spent two 
months with his father, then continued his journey with the 
troops to Saltillo, where they fell in with General Wool's 

Mr. Stevenson remained in business at Saltillo until the 
close of the Mexican War, after which, he returned to Chi- 
huahua, making that trip of 600 miles on muleback in seven 
and one-half days. He had two companions with him. At 
that place he met his father again, with whom he stayed until 
December 27, 1848, when he started on his trip via Durango 
and Mazatlan, to San Francisco, where he arrived March 25, 
1849, "flat broke" as the pioneers term it. 

Mr. Stevenson mined on Mormon Gulch, Tuolumne County, 
during the months of April and May, 1S49, with fair success; 
then acted as agent for Colonel Jackson, at Jacksonville, 
Tuolumne River, for three months; then his father arriving 
here, he entered into partnership with that worthy gentleman, 
in Mariposa County, where they remained from November, 
1849, to August, 1852, after which they arrived in this county, 
as stated. 

Mr. Stevenson is one of the oldest of Merced's citizens, havino- 
located where he is August 1, 1852, and before the county was 
organized. In December 27, 1855, he married Miss Louisa 
Jane Cox, of Cox's Ferry, on the Merced. She was born in 

Illinois. They have three children: Samuel, Mary E., and 
and Fannie B. Stevenson. 

Col. A. W. Stevenson, the father of J. J. Stevenson, was a 
gentleman of high intelligence, and born in Clark County, 
Kentucky, in 1804. He received a scholastic education in 
Kentucky, and was a farmer by occupation. At the age of 
twenty-two he moved to Boone County, Missouri, where his 
son James was born. In 1830 he engaged in the Santa F<5 
trade. Business required him to journey over the distance 
between Independence, Missouri, and Chihuahua, no less than 
nine times. He was engaged in this business eighteen years. 

He set out for California April 10, 1849, and reached Los 
Angeles in July. He first entered into various mercantile 
operations, and on the twenty-third of September, 1852, set- 
tled on the place last described. 


Another of the '49-ers and prominent citizens is Erastus 
Kelsey, whose home is near Merced Falls. He was born in 
Oneida County, New York, April 5, 1827, and was raised on a 
farm. He engaged in woolen manufacturing, but removed to 
Cook County, Illinois, in 1844, and engaged in farming. 

He left Cook County, March 4, 1849, via Council Bluffs, 
Fort Laramie, Salt Lake, and Carson River, and arrived in 
Sacramento the eighteenth of August, 1849, making eighty- 
five days from Council Bluffs. He went to the mines and 
joined the Quincy Mining Company, which had honest John 
Wood, President, who was afterwards Governor of Illinois. 
In November, 1849, he settled on a ranch on the west side of 
the Sacramento River, in company with Joel D. Nichols, J. W. 
H. Campbell, and another by the name of Shryer, under the 
firm name of Nichols, Campbell & Co., and in April, 1850, in 
company with Nichols and Campbell, he went to Auburn and 
Spanish Flats and engaged in mining. Here they made five 
dollars per day. At the roots of the big pine tree in Auburn, 
they made S6.25 per day, and further down the ravine, at 
Hughes' garden, made seven ounces per week. The last of May 
he returned to the ranch and engaged in gardening, etc. He 
also raised horses and mules, and operated a ferry three miles 
below Sacramento. While here his youngest brother arrived, 
after much suffering on the plains from cholera and want of 

In November, Mr. Kelsey sold out his interest to his partners 
and returned East, taking passage on the bark Susan. It took 
forty-seven days to reach the Isthmus. After crossing he took 
the passage for New Orleans. The vessel was blown ashore on 
the Chandelier Islands. The passengers, after five days, were 
taken off by a fishing smack and landed at Proctorville. 
Thence to New Orleans and by steamer to St. Louis, and by 
stage to Aurora, Illinois. In March, 1851, he bought eighty 
acres of land in McHenry County, Illinois, improved it, but as 
is usually the case, he thought no place was like California, so 







selling the farm he was soon on the wa)- to the land of sun- 
shine. This was in 1852. 

In 1851 he married Miss Malinda Powers, a native of New 
York. She died in March, 1879. The names of the children 
are; Charles, George P., Horace G., and Arthur L. Kelsey, all 
born in California except Charles. 

He settled on his farm in 1853. It consists of 475 acres 
under cultivation, and nearly 8,000 acres of grazing land, on 
which he keeps 2,500 sheep, 6 horses and 30 hogs. He has 
a large orchard of about 600 fruit trees, and a vineyard of 
5,000 mission grape-vines. He has a pleasant house situated 
on the bluff opposite his first home. 

In 1869 he made another visit East by railroad, and was on 
the first train that made connection with the Union Pacific at 
Ogden. He met a brother on the Elkhorn River and went into 
partnership with him, and constructed a flouring mill, and 
founded the town of "Waterloo on the Union Pacific Railroad, 
removing his family there in 1871. In 1S73 he sold out to 
his brother, and again took up his residence in California. In 
July, 1880, he married Mrs. Ellen E. Weed. 

The history of William Nelson is very interesting. We 
are sorry that space does not permit us to recite the whole of 
it- suffice the following facts:— 

William Nelson was born in New Hampshire, December 2, 
1812- he worked on a farm until he was twenty years of age, 
theniearnedthemillwrightbusiness. He followed that business 
in Maine and New Brunswick until 1847, when he sailed m 
September of that year with his wife and one child for Cali- 
fornia, arriving in San Francisco May 2, 1850. 

He at first mined with fair success for two years, then went 
to Humboldt Bay in the winter of 1852, on the steamer Smta 
Clara, whichhe converted into a saw-mill for Ryan Dupp & 
Co. He was employed at wood cutting near Humboldt Bay 
on that improvised mill until vessels came to take the loads o 
lumber away. They loaded the first vessel that cam, and 
Mr Nelson was ordered to go along in her to superintend he 
ma nagement. The vessel was cast .way after crossing the 
Bar and was lost. Fortunately all hands were «*A 

started for San Francisco. The third vessel and sevens 
T ™ thP South Spit and remained in the 
sengerswere east away on the 8 ontt. V ^ ^ ^ 

breakers twenty-four hours. He cut w y 

j ■« ir*4< moved to Merced County, 
with fair success, and in 18a4 moveu 


In March 1854 he constructed a flour-mill at Merced Falls, 
in Marcn, loot, ^ . oecarQe 

and has continued to run it ever since. In 186b 

a partner in the business. In 1867 they formed a company 
and built a woolen mill near the flour-mill. In 1872 both 
were burned. But not discouraged, the flour-mill was rebuilt 
the same year. Both these mills are described elsewhere, 
together with illustrations showing the mills and water-power. 
To the mill property is 320 acres of land, on which is raised 
on an average from twenty to forty bushels of wheat or barley 
to the acre. It is located at the eastern edge of the county 
and bordering the foot-hills of the Sierras. 


Henry Nelson was born in Fredericktown, New Brunswick, 
August 17, 1843. He was brought out to California by his 
father, and attended the first school which was started in San 
Francisco. He came in 1849, on the ship Teal, around Cape 
Horn. They stopped in Brazil and Valparaiso, also in Chili. 
The voyage took seven months and seven days. They had 
a pleasanUrip, excepting one storm which necessitated throw- 
ing a good deal of freight overboard in order to save the ship. 
They also saw many whales, one of them at one time came 
right under the ship, causing great anxiety and fear to a good 
many of the passengers. He entered into business with his 
father at Merced Falls, as stated, in 1866. 

He was married in 1870, to Miss Lola A. Lawrence, of New 
York, and has five children, one boy and four girls, named 
William N., Lola, Almah, Inez, and Etta Nelson. 

T C. Dean, born in Mercer County, Kentucky, in 1826, is 
another of the constantly diminishing band of pioneers. He 
was left an orphan at the age of fifteen. After living m 
Missouri a short time he returned to Kentucky, and left there 
in 1849 by the southern route for California, and was six 
months on the journey, reaching this section of country in 
September, 1849. He lived in what was then Mariposa County, 
until the formation of Merced, and engaged in stock-raising. 

His farm is 300 acres, situated fifteen miles from Merced, 
and is devoted largely to general farming. He keeps consider- 
able stock, having at the present time seventy-five head of cat- 
tle one hundred hogs, fifteen horses, besides other animals. He 
has twenty acres of alfalfa, which produces large quantities of 

feed for stock. 

The culture of cotton promises at some day in the near future 
to rank among the important industries. The experiments 
.viththisplanthaveprovensucccssfuLsurpassing in their result. 

the most sanguine expectations; and its production as an enter- 
prise is drawing the attention of agriculturists and speculator, 
There are between 2,500 and 3,000 acres planted in cotton 
in Merced County, all of which presents excellent prospects of 
a heavy yield; a larger product being probable han last yea, 
Coto proves a successful crop on Mr. Dean's land, although 
, e have no statistics of his efforts for any length of time. 



"Grizzly Adams." 

Adams carried on his operations in the region of the Stan- 
islaus, Tuolumne, and Merced rivers and their head-waters. 
It is. therefore, proper to give our readers some account of his 
exploits, which are now known only by some of the pioneers. 

James Capen Adams was a native of Med way, Massachu- 
setts, where, at an early age, he learned and followed the trade 
of shoemaking, until attaining his majority, when he resolved 
to gratify his intuitive love for the wild, roving life of a 
hunter, and, at the first opportunity hired himself out to a 
company of showmen, for the 
purp >se of obtaining a collection 
of native wild animals for exhi- 
bition . 

In 1849, at the height of the 
<*old excitement, he turned his 
steps towards California, and 
arrived here by way of Mexico, 
in the fall of that year. : 

He says: "From the date of 
my arrival in the country till I 
went into the mountains, my 
occupations were various — some- 
times mining, sometimes trading, 
simetimes raising stock and 
f inning. Sometimes I was rich, 
at other times poor. At one time, 
in 1850, while farming in the 
neighborhood of Stockton, I pos- 
sessed thousands of dollars' worth 
of cattle, most of which were 
stolen from me in a single night. 
At another time, I possessed 
mining claims, which ought to 
"have made me very wealthy ; and 
at another, lands, which are now 
worth many fortunes; but one 
after the other passed out of my 
hands, partly on account of my own reckless speculations, partly 
through the villainy of others. In the space of three years, I 
failed three times ; from the heights of prosperity I was plunged 
into the depths of difficulty; until at last, in the fall of 1852 
disgusted with the world and dissatisfied with myself, I aban- 
doned all my schemes for the accumulation of wealth, turned 
my back upon the society of my fellows, and took the road 
towards the wildest and most unfrequented parts of the Sierra 
Nevada, resolved thenceforth to make the wilderness my home 
and wild beasts my companions. 

"My hair was already beginning to turn gray; and as I 
wore it long, with long gray beard, and long mustaches, — such 
being the custom in those days, — my appearance was that of 

an old man, though, in truth, I was but in the prime of life, and 
could bear almost any degree of exposure, privation, or fatigue. 
" I left my mountain fastness and drove down to a place 
called Howard's Ranch, laid in a stock of ammunition, and 
such other necessaries as were required ; exchanged my oxen for 
mules and pack-saddles, and gathered such information regard- 
ing the northern countries and the roads to them as could be 
obtained. I opportunely fell in with a young man, named 
William Sykesey, who bad been in these regions before. This 
young man came originally from Texas, and seemed to have 
a tinge of Indian blood in his veins, which was betrayed by 
his high cheek bones, his long, 
coarse, black hair, and very 
dark complexion. He had a 
wood rifle, and was a fair marks- 
man; and, being well acquainted 
with woodcraft, my meeting with 
him was fortunate. 

" From Howard's, Sykesey and 
I proceeded, with our mules and 
packs, to Strawberry ranch, on 
the Tuolumne river, where we 
procured the services of two 
Indian boys, about twenty years 
of age. These lads, who proved 
to be true and faithful fellows, 
had lived a portion of their lives 
among white people, could speak 
the English language, and under- 
stood the use of the rifle. The 
elder of them, from the name of 
his tribe, I called Tuolumne; the 
younger, for the same reason, 
Stanislaus. Our party was now 
complete, consisting of myself 
and three vigorous young men, 
having two good stout mules. 
We were all four cased in buck- 
skin, and three of us carried 
In their expeditions they trapped 
and otherwise captured many grizzly bears. His account 
of these adventures is full of thrilling interest and also 
gives accurate descriptions of these animals and their habits. 

Adams first exhibited his animals at San Jose and after- 
wards established a menagerie at San Francisco, and thence 
shipped his animals to New York. 

His adventures were dramatized in three acts and seven tab- 
leaux, and presented to audiences in all parts of the East under 
the title of "Grizzly Adams, or the hunter of the Sierras." It 
was played in San Francisco as late as December, 1SS0. 

Adams died at a small town near Boston, where his wife and 
daughter lived, from the effects of the terrible blows he had 
received from time to time while teaching his animals " docility. 

Grizzly Adams" and His Pet Bear, Ben Franklin 

rifles upon our backs. 



Biographical and Descriptive Sketches. 

John F. McSwain, the efficient County Recorder and ex officio 
Auditor of Merced County, was born in the State of Missouri 
on the fifth day of December, 1853. His father died in the 
fall of 1861. The following year his mother came with her 
family to California, making the transit of the continent and 
located in Merced County, where she now resides. Young 
McSwain attended the public schools of the county and by his 
perseverance obtained a good business education. He is now 
one of the best accountants in the county. In 1872, after 
passing a satisfactory examination before the County Board of 
Examiners he was granted a certificate to teach school. He 
followed the profession of teaching for two years, at the end of 
which time he found the calling not a pleasant one and gave it 
up for a more active life. 

In 1874 he was appointed agent of a warehouse company at 
Plainsburg, which position he held for a year. He then 
resigned and engaged in ranching, which as he terms it " was 
a successful failure." In 1878 he was offered his old position as 
agent of the warehouse company at Plainsburg, which he 
accepted and held until he was appointed by the Board of 
Supervisors of Merced County as County Recorder, to fill an 
unexpired term. So far he has filled the office with credit to 
himself and friends. 


W. J. Quigley, the present Treasurer of Merced County, 
was born in Derry, Ireland, on the twenty-seventh day of July' 
1841 His parents came to the United States in 1847, and 
located in the city of Philadelphia. Here young Quigley 
grew to manhood, and shared alike with the youth of all great 
cities the opportunities for good and evil. He served part of a 
term of apprenticeship at a trade until 1861, when at the 
breaking out of the war of the Rebellion he entered the 
Federal army, serving three years and six months in the army 
of the Potomac, and receiving an honorable discharge at the 
close of the war. In 1865 he came to^California and located 
on Bear Creek, twelve miles east of present site of Merced. 

In 1866 he went to Nevada, and engaged in mining opera- 
tions with varied degrees of success until 1871, when he 
returned to California and located in Hornitos, Mariposa 
County, and engaged in the livery business. 

In March, 1872, he returned to Merced County and engaged 
in the livery business in the town of Merced. 

In 1877 he was elected a member of the County Board of 
Supervisors, which position he filled creditably to himself and 
his constituents for the term of three years. 

In the fall of 1879 he was elected to the responsible position 
of County Treasurer. 


J. H. Simonson, the subject of this sketch, was born in 
Germany, about two miles from Hamburg, on the sixth day of 
November, 1850. In the spring of 1858 his parents, with their 
family of children, emigrated to the United States, and located 
in what was then the Territory of Minnesota. Here young 
Simonson was afforded only the educational advantages of the 
public schools of Washington County, wherein he continued 
till the spring of 1864. During that year he entered into the 
employment of a mercantile firm in Marine, Washington 
County, Minnesota, as clerk and confidential book-keeper. He 
continued with this firm almost uninterruptedly for twelve 
years until 1876, when he resigned his position to come to this 
State. In the winter of 1874-75 feeling disposed at least to 
begm business for himself, he in copartnership with another 
young gentleman, engaged in the logging business in Wisconsin. 
The enterprise, however, not proving as lucrative as the young 
fortune-seekers desired, was soon abandoned. 

In the year 1874 the town of Marine was incorporated, and 
young Simonson was elected first Treasurer of the Municipal 
Government. He was re-elected in 1875, and resigned on 
leaving the State in 1876. 

In that year he came to California, and engaged as book- 
keeper for a mercantile firm in the town of Merced, where he 
remained until the fall of 1879, when he was elected to the 
office of County Clerk of Merced County. 

This is only one instance among thousands where proper 
habits, industry and strict integrity have led from the humbler 
walks of life to positions of honor and trust among the people. 


M. D. Atwater is a native of Bethany, Connecticut. He 
left Woodbury, Litchfield County, Connecticut, in 1855 for 
California, leaving New York City on the steamer &fnpwe 
City, November 20th, and landed in San Francisco December 20, 
1855, and went immediately to Mokelumne Hill, Calaveras 
County, and engaged in mining during the years 1856-57-58, 
trying both quartz and hydraulic mining, with only ordinary 


During the years 1859-60 and 1861 had charge of toll-road 
and bridge between Mokelumne Hill and Jackson, Amador 
County. Afterwards, for little over a year, resided in lone 
City, Amador County. 

In 1862 settled in Virginia City, Nevada, and engaged in 
heavy teaming for nearly seven years. 

He came to Merced County in 1869 and engaged in raising 
sheep and cultivating wheat. His farm consists of 4,680 acres, 
five miles from Merced. In addition to this he rents 4,200 
acres for wheat-raising, making in all nearly 9,000 acres. 

The soil of Mr. Atwater's ranch is of a rich loam, inclined 
to red, and easily cultivated. His large farming operations arc 
described elsewhere, under head of "Farming in the San Joa- 



quiii." The crop of wheat is far better than could be expected 
to grow upon the sandy upland. Surrounding his residence is 
a garden, orchard and vineyard. The grounds are irrigated 
from a large tank, the water being raised by a windmill and 
pump. In this garden, trees, vines and plants appear unusually 
thrifty and seem to make a vigorous growth. The soil appears 
especially adapted to the production of grapes. He has forty 
acres inclosed, set out in choice grapes and a large variety of 
fruits, which grow exceedingly large and of fine flavor, with 
little or no irrigation, vines, one year old, being loaded with 
large bunches of grapes, proving the extraordinary fertility of 
the soil as well as superior system of cultivation. Raspberry, 
blackberry and strawberry vines all do well, and are laden 
with fruit every year. His yard and vineyard are inclosed and 
laid out in walks and drives. The residence is a pleasant 
two-story house, with verandas. The out-buildings are large 
and well-arranged. 

Mr. Atwater has in cultivation, annually, several thousand 
acres of land, upon the highest eminence of which is his dwell- 
in c and garden, and though several seasons have been unfavor- 
able, he has uniformly made good crops. 

In addition to grain farming, Mr. Atwater has usually kept 
a limited number of sheep, which serve to eat up the stubble 
and waste of the grain fields, and yield good crops of wool, 
and were thought to be vastly advantageous to the land, feed- 
ing as they do for most of the year upon that which more 
improvident farmers burn in order to clear the land for plowing. 
The Farmers' Canal Company's ditch brings constantly a full 
head of water from the Merced River, crossing the western 
portion of the farm. 

Mr. Atwater is one of the largest and most successful farm- 
ers in the county, and has taken great interest in all organiza- 
tions formed to assist farmers. 

He married Miss Eliza R. Allen in 1850, who lived in "Wood- 
burn, Connecticut. She died April 27, 1352. His presentwife, 
Miss Laura A. Allen, a sister of his first wife, he married April 
27, 1870. Mr. Atwater has one child: Eliza A. Atwater. 


Thomas Price, the subject of this sketch is one of the earliest 
settlers, and now one of the leading farmers of this county. 
He was born on the fourth, day of October, 1825, in what was 
then the Territory of Arkansas. His boyhood days were 
spent in his native Territory (afterwards, in 1836, a State) 
without the especial and careful guidance of his parents, James 
Price and Permelia Price, nee Browning, they having died 
when he was but a child. During this time he was schooled 
chiefly to the duties of the farm — education, only of a primi- 
tive decree, being denied by the educational advantages which 
all such new countries afford. In 1846, at the age of twenty- 
one, he was married to Miss Alice Slinkkard. 

He remained in Arkansas until the spring of 1853, when, 

true to the spirit which characterizes the people of the West, 
he, with his family, wife and one daughter, (now Mrs. M. J. 
Wilson) crossed the plains to California. He left his home in 
Arkansas on the seventeenth day of April, 1853, and arrived 
at Marysville, in this State, on the twenty-second of October, 
of the same year. As the great plains between the Mississippi 
and the Sacramento were at that time a broad thoroughfare 
for the thousands who were then crossing them in quest of 
fortunes, perhaps the incidents of his trip were only such as 
have been written and narrated by hundreds who experienced 
the same dangers and privations of a like journey. 

Mr. Price remained in Marysville for a short time after his 
arrival, then removed to Sonora, Tuolumne County, where he 
lived for a few months. 

On the twenty-fifth day of August, 1854, he came to this 
county, which was at that time a part of Mariposa County, since 
which time his residence and chief business interests have been 
here. Unlike the great majority of men who came here at 
that early date, he did not seek his fortune in the mines; but, 
realizing the advantages possessed by our valleys for the suc- 
cessful rearing of stock, in the spring of 1855 he returned 
to Texas and there purchased a drove of cattle, which he 
brought through to this State, and like every man who 
in those days gave his business personal supervision, and 
exercised those principles of economy which are the only 
safe basis for prosperity in any avocation, his enterprise was a 
success. He continued in the business of stock-raising until 
1871, when the great land excitement broke in upon us. The 
hitherto public domain was taken up and owned by private 
individuals, and the agricultural interests became so great that 
as a protection to those interests, stringent legislation was had 
against stock running at large. As a result of these changed 
conditions, the stock business was declining and Mr. Price 
closed out, adapted himself at once to the change and 
turned his attention to agriculture, followed by the same suc- 
cess which had attended his other pursuits. 

In the fall of 1872, Mr. Price returned the second time to 
Texas. This time for the purpose "of locating lands, but the 
season being to too far advanced, he was compelled to return 
home without effecting his purpose. However, in the following 
spring (1873) he again returned, when he purchased some 
large tracts on the frontier of Texas. 

His farm in this county consists of 240 acres, located twelve 
miles from Merced, the county seat, three miles from the rail- 
road and eighteen miles from water communication. It is 
well improved, and under a thorough state of cultivation. 

Born on the frontier, in the infancy of what is now a great 
commonwealth, the subject of this sketch is of that rare type 
of men whose determination and naturally sound judgment, 
coupled with a rigid observance of the principles of honor, 
constitute them, despite the limited advantages of earlier years, 
particular and valuable exemplars in whatever they undertake. 






s^-ws^ fe .. . • 



^ft^Vr- ..■-*V.-\- 
■■-■ ■•,•-■■ .-^— _ 






E. T. Dixon, son of R. L. Dixon, was horn in Jackson, Mis- 
sissippi, November 13, 184-7. While quite young he moved 
with his parents to Washington County, where he lived on a 
farm until the close of the war between the North and South. 
In 1867, at the age of nineteen years, he entered a drug store 
as an apprentice, and paid his own board for the privilege of 
working in the store until he became acquainted with the busi- 

In July, I860, on account of ill-health he was compelled 

to seek a healthier climate, and decided to go to Fresno 
County, California, where the grain interest, though in its 
infancy at that time, was attracting much attention. He 
engaged in grain raising for three years, which proved an 
entire failure on account of droughts, and being satisfied that 
the business could not be made profitable in this section, he 
decided to go to Merced, a town just being laid out on the Cen- 
tral Pacific Railroad, and engage in the drug business which 
he has made profitable by close attention and economy. 

In April, 1877, he married Miss Minnie Ralston, of Napn 
City, with whom lie had been acquainted ten years previous. 

In 1879, the nomination for School Superintendent un the 
Democratic ticket was tendered him, which he accepted, and 
was elected and assumed the duties of the office in January, 
1880, which he holds at the present time. 


Peter Merrell, born February 17, 1825, is the son of Alexan- 
der and Mima Merrell of Tennessee. He had quite a good 
education, and learned tne plasterer's trade, working partly in 
Tennessee, Missouri and Arkansas. He also served in the army 
during the Mexican War, which brought the spirit of adven- 
ture into him, and made him earnestly think of emigrating to 
California, at that time to many, a land of milk and honey ; 
he finally did go via the southern route ; made the trip in six 
and one-half months, leaving Arkansas March 1st, and arriv- 
ing in Los Angeles September 16th, without having any par- 
ticularly unpleasant incidents. 

Mr Merrell came to this county September 15, 1S67, and 
has been engaged in dairying and stock-raising ever since he 


His land comprises 1,120 acres of tolerably good quality, 
on which he pastures 140 head oi cattle, 20 head of hogs, 6 
horses and 15 goats. His residence is ten miles from the 
county seat with its church and railroad advantages. The 
river is six miles distant affording at times advantages for sha- 
ping produce. School is two and one-half miles distant from 
Mr. Merrell's place. 

Mr. Merrell married Mr, Clarenda M. Hall m 1,2. Sh 
was born in Cuyahoga County, Ohio. The, children are 
named Mary Jane, Frances Hulda, Nancy Carohne, Wdham, 
James Alanson, and Albert Alexander Merrell. 


Charles C. Nelson, an early resident and farmer of this 
county, was born in Tompkins County, New York, in 1833. 
He was raised on a farm belonging to his parents, Robert and 
Margaret Nelson. 

In 1854, he also acquired a spirit of adventure, and as the 
State of California seemed at that time to be a very heaven 
for adventurers, he deter mined to try his luck there. That 
he succeeded we will see, by describing the property he owns, 
which he did not acquire, however, through luck, but by hard 
work and perseverance. 

He left his native State in 1854, taking passage on the 
steamer Star of the West, for Nicaragua; crossing the Isthmus 
he took passage on a steamer for San Francisco, where he 
arrived after a journey of twenty-seven days. 

Like most men of that date, he directed his attention first 
to mining. He mined in Mariposa County from 1854 until 
1855, but had indifferent success. In 1856 he came to this 
county, where he is engaged in general farming, owning 1,440 
acres of land, within five miles of Merced Qjhnty Seat. 

The Southern Pacific Railroad rufflS^ast within two miles 
of Mr. Nelson's residence. The soil is a mixture of sandy 
loam and adobe. It produces from twelve to fifteen bushels 
of wheat per acre, aud is well irrigated. Mr. Nelson's stock 
consists of from twelve to fifteen horses, only what is required 
to work the farm. 


Four miles from the village of Los Banos, and one mile dis- 
tant from school and church, is situated the dairy-farm of Mr. 
William A. Burnside. It comprises 160 acres of good, sandy 
loam, vegetable and alfalfa land. The stock consists of sixty- 
five milking cows, about forty hogs, and four horses. The 
principal product of this farm is cheese, which is of an excellent 
quality, and can be found in many grocery stores of this State, 
where its reputation stands high. 

Mr. Burnside is a native of Ohio. He was married, in 1862, 
to Miss Izora A. Frances, a native of LaGrange County, Indi- 
ana, and has four children, named respectively: Delcer, 
Ambrose E., Elmer E., Leota, and Miller Burnside. 

Mr Burnside was born December 3, 1S33, and was brought 
up by his parents, who were farmers. After leaving school, 
he was employed as a teacher during the winter months and 
worked on the farm during the summer. On the first of 
October 1867, he left Jessup (Iowa), by rail for New York, 
where he took passage on the steamship Jomwnto for Aspin- 
wall then, after crossing the Isthmus, he took passage on the 
steamer Constitution, which landed him in San Francisco 

He resM first in Salinas Valley, in Monterey County, and 
at Hollister, San Benito County, which he left November, 1876, 
and moved into Merced County, where he has smce resided- 




Following Bear Creek, twelve miles distant from the railroad 
and the county seat, we reach the eleven hundred acres of land 
which constitute the farm of Mr. Samuel S. Givens. This is 
undoubtedly one of the prettiest farms in the county, having 
plenty of running water and shade, and being situated within 
one and one-half miles of a church and school. Amongst the 
.shady trees can be seen from forty to fifty head of cattle, about 
twenty horses, and one hundred hogs, which being of an extra 
kind and in good condition, attract the attention of all those 
engaged in stock-raising. 

Mr. Givens attended school in Kentucky, where bis parents, 
Thomas and Catherine Givens lived, until he was nine years of 
age, when they left their home (Caseyville, Kentucky), Decem- 
ber 24, 1852, for California. They first went to New Orleans, 
which they reached on January 1, 1853,and left January 4th, per 
steamer Pamjiero for San Juan (Grey town) which they reached 
in twelve days; then riding (on muleback) across the Isthmus 
they came to San Juan Del Sur, where they again took passage 
on a steamer bound for San Francisco. The voyage was 
pleasant with the exception of a storm, which almost caused 
the old steamer Brother Jonathan, to sink. They reached San 
Francisco February 2, 1853, and arrived at " Texas Ranch " 
five days later. 

Mr. Givens married Miss Susan L. Willis, of California, De- 
cember 20, 1877, and has two children, Mark E. and Archibald 
W. He mined for a short time in Mariposa County; lived suc- 
cessively in Santa Clara, Mariposa, and Merced Counties. 


Henry Dewey was born February 5, 1825, at Westfield, 
Massachusetts; is the son of Mr. Timothy and Clarica Dewey. 
He was brought up to work on a farm and in a mill until he 
was twenty-three years of age; he then learned the mason 
trade and brick-laying, which business he carried on with his 
brother, Mr. Ralph Dewey, until 1856. 

His wife's health was very poor, and made it necessary for 
the family to move to California. They therefore left New 
York, December 5, 1856, for California, where they arrived, 
■in the city of Stockton, January 1, 1857- 

Mr. Dewey was accompanied to California by his fellow- 
townsmen, J. M. Fowler and Daniel Dewey, a cousin of Mr. 
Dewey, who owned ranches in Woodbridge, ten miles north 
■of Stockton. Mr. Dewey worked for his relations for eight 
months, then bought a ranch of his own. His wife's health 
improved at first, but suddenly she was taken down with the 
measles, which brought on the old complaint, ulcers of the 
lungs, which caused her death in about a year after (Novem- 
ber 19, 1863). She was a daughter of R. L. Bromley, of Ches- 
ter, Massachusetts, named Elizabeth. They had three chil- 
dren, named Helen Eliza, Clara Genevieve, and Charles Henrys 

Mr. Dewey marripd again, November 23, 1864, to Miss Jane 
Applegrath, daughter of John Applegrath, a native of Canada. 
They have two children, named John Clarkson, and Nina 
Mabel Dewey. 

Mr. Dewey came to Plainsburg in 1869. His farm contains 
1,200 acres of choice land, yielding, in good seasons, nearly 
thirty bushels per acre. He cultivates most of it. The farm 
is four miles from Plainsburg, and about sixteen miles from 
the county seat. A school is within one mile of his home. 


Mr. Dewey has also an inventive mind. He found it nec- 
essary to improve his farming machinery, and therefore made 
the first wide header of sixteen feet cut, in 1865, doing better 
work with it than any machine then in use. Afterwards, he 
made the eighteen, twenty-two, twenty-five, twenty-eight, and 
thirty-four feet cut, with which he can cut eighty acres in a 
day, and do as good work as can "be done by any machine 
in use in Merced County. 


"Baxter Ranch " is situated ten miles east of Plainsburg and 
is one of the noted farms of Merced County. Its owner, 
Robert Baxter, was born in Nova Scotia, April 16, 1828, in 
Caleheder County. 

Mr. Baxter lived with his parents, David and Ellen Baxter 
while a boy, and afterwards was employed at farming in vari- 
ous places until 1852, when he drifted towards Boston, where 
after reaching that city he hired himself out to Captain Grazier 
of the sailing ship Ellen Foster as a sailor, thinking it cheaper 
to work his way to California, than to pay passage. After a 
voyage of 145 days around Cape Horn, he reached San Fran- 
cisco, where he arrived in September, 1852. 

Mr. Baxter, like many others, started his career here with 
mining. He mined at Chinese Camp, Columbia, Jacksonville 
and Volcano. Afterwards he went to farming near Stockton, 
then San Leandro and afterwards near French Camp. 

In the fall of 1877 he reached Merced County and engaged 
in farming. His farm is 4,000 acres of level farming land, 
located twenty miles from Merced and ten miles from the rail- 
road. The character of the soil is gravelly, mixed plain land, 
with an underground bed of marl. Large crops of wheat and 
barley are annually produced. 


Mr. Baxter is a man of genius and forethought and his inven- 
tions have been of great value to the farming community. He 
discovered at an early day that the capacity of farming 
machinery must be increased in order to manage successfully 
the large crops which were to be annually sown and harvested. 
His first improvement was the traveling thresher in 1863. In 
1864 he produced an improved gang-plow. In 1866 he brought 



out a header with many new ideas' jjut into practical use. In 

I860 he made a traveling steam-engine. On all of these he 

has patents for improvements. They are all successfully used 

on his ranch as may be seen in the large illustration of his 



Nothing we can say about Sheriff Meany will more illustrate 
his standing in the county than the following short paragraph, 
which shows the esteem in which he is held by his fellow- citizens 
and the satisfactory manner in which he discharges the duties 
of his office : — 

" A. J. Meany was first elected Sheriff in 1873 and re-elected 
at each election since by increased majorities." 


J. H. McCloskey, the subject of this sketch, and son of 
Hugh and Essie McCloskey, nee De Laix, was born in the city 
of Dublin, Ireland, on the seventeenth day of April, 1837. 
His parents died when he was between the age of five and six 
years, and he was left under the care and protection of his 
natural uncle, Edward De Laix. He lived with his uncle but 
a few years, when becoming dissatisfied with the treatment he 
received, he embarked on a sailing vessel with some emigrants 
bound for San Antonio, Texas. The vessel landed at New 
Orleans, where the company of emigrants dispersed, and young 
McCloskey was left alone without money or friends. For- 
tunately for him, in attempting to find the "Sisters Hospital" 
where an acquaintance, who came over on the same vessel, 
was confined bv illness, he made the acquaintance of a boy, to 
whom he made" known his circumstances. This boy becoming 
interested in young McCloskey, introduced him to his uncle, a 
lawyer, who gave him employment as a messenger boy. He 
remained in this lawyer's office for a time, when he was 
induced by a carpenter and builder, one Mr. B. F. Howard, to 
learn the carpenter's trade. As an extra inducement, Mr. 
Howard, at the heginning of the apprenticeship, sold to young 
McCloskey two lots in the city of New Orleans, which he was 
to pay for in monthly installments to be taken from Ins wages. 
During this apprenticeship he attended night school, which was 
the source of his education aside from the practical teachmgs 
of an eventful life. At the close of his four years' apprentice, 
ship he was master of his trade and the sole proprietor of the 
two lots, which he sold for $700. 

On the first day of May, 1852, he embarked on the steamshrp 
Ann* Captain Pannoek, for California, via the Stmt, of 
Marian. This vessel was built at Cincinnati, and was said 
to have been used by the Government during the Mes.can War 
for transporting troops. She was but little better han a flat 
boat. A man named Smith, from New York, purchased and 
fitted her out superficially for this voyage to San 
Passage was from SX50 to S300. Smith sold al he ticket, h 
could and on the day the vessel sailed he fled the cty. 

old ship scarcely afforded standing-room for toe throng of 
people who had taken passage. "When she was but fairly out 
on the gulf both passengers and captain concluded that it would 
be but destruction and folly to attempt the voyage with so 
many passengers and an insufficiency of provisions to la^t to 
Rio de Janeiro, where she designed to put in for fresh supplies. 
The captain thereupon ran the vessel into Savannah, Georgia, 
where two or three of the passengers made complaint to the 
United States authorities that she was carrying more pas- 
sengers than her tonnage legally warranted. Upon these com- 
plaints she was libelled, condemned and ordered to besold. The 
same passengers who had entered these complaints then insti- 
tuted civil suits for the recovery of their passage money, and 
attached the provisions of the ship. 

When the Sheriff made his appearance to levy on the pro- 
visions, the passengers offered a determined resistance. Headed 
by a number of returned Californians who were passengers, 
they claimed that the provisions belonged to the passengers in 
common, and that the plaintiffs in the action should share alike 
with the other passengers. The Sheriff was prevented from 
coming on board, but he proclaimed that " the laws of Georgia 
must be enforced," and at once summoned to his assistance 100 
special deputies. The prospects for the passengers were not 
encouraging; but stimulated by the sympathy extended by the 
majority of the people of Savannah, as well as that of two of 
,,f the leading papers of that city, they determined to hold the 
provisions at all hazards. The Sheriff's special deputies failed 
to appear at the appointed time, and the matter rested. The 
citizens of the city called a meeting and offered two proposi- 
tions to the passengers of the Foamy. First, they would 
appraise the provisions, allow them to be sold under process of 
law, and buy them in for the passengers; or, secondly, they 
would furnish fresh provisions of an equal amount, if the pas- 
sengers would allow those on board to be sold. The latter 
proposition was accepted. 

About this time a gentleman came on board inquiring for 
young McCloskey, stating that he had letters from a merchant 
in New Orleans who was a friend of McCloskey's, requesting him 
to take him (McCloskey) off the Fanny, and either send him back 
to New Orleans or purchase a ticket for him via New York to San 
Francisco. Young McCloskey thankfully declined the kind 
offer of this friend, and declared that he would "stay with the 
old Fanny as long as there was a plank of her left." 

The President of the United States upon receipt of a petition 
from the people of Savannah requesting it, released the Fanny 
which after two months detention, again made ready to sail. 
On the evening of her departure there was great rejoicing in 
Savannah for the people had become heartily sick of her, and 
were rejoicing at her departure. Almost every one on the 
vessel was drunk, and when about four miles down the river, 
the pilot being drunk, ran her into the bank. The captain 
found it impossible to get her off before the next day, and so 



informed the passengers. The mosquitoes being perfectly 
intolerable, many of the passengers returned to the city to 
remain over night. When they arrived it was dark, and being 
recognized as the passengers of the Fa/my many of them were 
arrested on a suspicion that they had returned to burn the city, 
and were lodger! in jail until the following morning when, upon 
an explanation of the situation, they were released. 

That day the vessel sailed, intending as originally, to touch at 
Rio de Janeiro; but after passing the equator in the Atlantic, 
her coal gave out, and being almost keelless, she drifted by pre- 
vailing westerly winds on to the coast of Africa. She put into 
Monrovia where she was bonded, to get wood, water and pro- 
visions for the voyage across to Rio de Janeiro. When she 
was out about two days from Monrovia she caught fire, and 
but for the fortunate occurrence that the crew were at the 
time washing the decks, she would certainly have been des- 
troyed with her passengers and crew. The provisions obtained 
at Monrovia were all exhausted, save a sack of unhulled rice, 
when she arrived at Rio de Janeiro. The vessel was there sold 
to satisfy the bond contracted at Monrovia, and the passengers 
we're taken ashore, many of them destitute, and left amidst the 
ravages of the yellow fever. 

About this time the American ship Dacota, Captain Sloan, 
came into port for repairs, having been dismasted off the Rio 
de La Plata while en route for San Francisco. One of the 
Dacota's passengers concluding to go to Australia instead of 
San Francisco, sold his ticket to young McCloskey for fifty 
dollars and a gold watch. 

He arrived at San Francisco on the first day of April, 1853. 
The passengers who embarked at New Orleans on the old 
Fanny, having been 335 days on the voyage. Young 
McCloskey found employment it' his trade on the same evening 
of his landing, and remained in San Francisco about three 
weeks. He then went to Treka to try his fortunes in the 
mines. However, his time was mostly occupied at his trade. 

He remained in Yreka about seven years, during which time 
he was married to Miss Margaret Harrison, a native of St. 
Louis, Missouri. Two children were born to them: William 
de Laix, on the eighteenth of September, 1S57, and Henry 
Harrison on the seventh of April, 1859. After the death of 
his wife, Mr. McCloskey gave up his business as carpenter, 
which he had pursued successfully, and removed from Yreka to 
San Francisco, where he could better provide for the wants of 
his children. In San Francisco he engaged successfully in 
buying and selling real estate. 

In 1863 he made a visit to the Eastern States and Europe; 
and returned convinced that he had seen no place that was in 
his judgment better than California. He then returned to San 
Jose where he remained until 1869, during which time he was 
again married. He married Miss Rhoda Furman, by whom he 
has had five children : Eli Leander, Olive Letitia, Mabel, Mande- 
ville, and De Laix. 

In 1869 he removed from San Jose to this county, and 
located upon his farm near Plainsburg, which consists of about 
1 200 acres of excellent land. 
' An orphan at the early age of six, cast upon his own 
resources for a livelihood as well as a character, the most potent 
argument that we can command to establish the fact that those 
resources were wholly exercised for good is that he was never 
intoxicated by the use of liquors, that he was never sued before 
a court of justice for the adjustment of a claim, or criminally 
prosecuted for the commission of a crime. 


About sixteen miles from Merced, the county seat, lies the 
little village of Snelling, with its pretty church and school. If 
we go two and a half miles further, we find the home of Mr.. 
T. J. Ramsey, who owns a farm of 920 acres of grazing and 
agricultural land. The principal products of the farm are 
wheat and barley, but one of the chief resources of Mr. Ramsey 
is the wool which he receives from his 2,000 sheep which are 
grazing on his pastures. On his farm can also be found 50 
head of cattle, 100 hogs, 200 sheep and 16 horses. 

Mr- Ramsey was born in Clark County, Kentucky, June 7, 
1835. He lived with his parents on a farm until maturity. In 
1856 he left his home and spent the winter of 1S56-57 in Mis- 
souri.. In the spring following he left the last-named place 
for California, where he arrived in September^ 1857. 

The first place in California where Mr. Ramsey stopped for 
some length of time was Burns' Ferry, on the Sacramento River. 
He superintended Col. J. B. Child's farm, in Napa County, 
one year. He left Napa Valley in order to go to San Luis 
Obispo County, where he was engaged in various occupa- 
tions until the fall of I860. 

In 1860 Mr. Ramsey came to this county, where he first 
worked for Moses A. Stevenson & Son; he remained with 
them for three years, after which he purchased his present 
farm and home of 920 acres, valued at $10,000. 

Mr. Ramsey was married in 1867 to Miss Deborah D. Smith, of 
Missouri, and has five children, all boys, named respectively: 
George A., Thomas Lee, Archibald D., William, and Henry 


Mr. R. A. Weaver was born January 12, 1840, in the south- 
western part of the State of Pennsylvania, in Westmoreland 

While at home, Mr. Weaver worked on the farm whenever 
he was out of school until November 14, 1S59, when he left 
his native State and went by rail to New York, which city he 
left November 21st, on the steamer Constitution, for Aspin- 
wall, thence across the Isthmus to Panama, from there, on the 
steamer Golden Age, to San Francisco. It took twenty-two 
days to make the trip, and Mr. W. landed in San Francisco 



December 12, 1859. He immediately took the steamer for 
Stockton, where he landed the next day. 

Mr W. immediately went to work on Mr. A. Hokenshell's 
farm, which is situated six miles from Stockton, and stayed 
there twenty-two months, after which he rented a farm on his 
own account, but had rather poor success with the experiment. 
It was the year of the flood, and so he had bad crops. After 
this, Mr. Weaver hired himself out again for a year, which 
expired in October, 1867. He then worked in Stanislaus County, 
uear where Modesto now is. He bought, in 1868, about 1,100 
acres of Government land in Merced County, which comprises 

his present farm. 

Mr. Weaver built one of the first cabins on the then desolate 
plain At that time the plains were covered with wild cattle 
and droves of antelope. In the fall of 1868, Mr. Cressey moved 
into that neighborhood, and Mr. Weaver worked for him until 
September, 1869, when he went East overland, to see the " old 
folks at home," but was gone only ahout five months, when he 
returned, and again worked for Cressey. 

In March, 1871, he began to farm his own land some, but 
worked for Mr. Atwater during the time, but in October, 187 2, 
he settled down on his own place of 660 acres, having sold a 
portion. It is two miles south of Cressey Station, on the 
Southern Pacific Railroad. The county seat is fourteen mile 
distant. He devotes his farm chiefly to raising wheat, but 
pays some attention to stock, keeping about forty hogs, eigh 
Uses, three mules. His house is surrounded by tree, H 
orchard contains about thirty peach and fig trees and one 
hundred grape-vines. Mr. Weaver is not married. 
Within six miles of Merced County Seat "^^ 

of the family of M, EH ^-— /~ :i 
formerly Miss LydiaM. Upton, native of Pete,oorou , 

and their two children: Lewvs E„ and Albert 

Mr. Grimes is the son of J^^^C^U 
at the time of his birth, June 8, 183o, 
Ohio. He stayed at home while a boy pa Uy. tend 
and partly working on the farm, untrl he thought 

Besides raising of cereals he keeps generally four milch cows, 
ten hogs and ten horses. 

Eli Furman has a farm near Plainsburg, on which he car- 
ries on general farming, and confines himself to no particular 
product. He has 400 acres of the home farm and rents 640 
near by. He came to Merced County in 1869, and engaged in 
farming and stock-raising. His place is twelve miles from the 
county seat and four from the railroad, while school and church 
are within three miles. He keeps usually on the farm 120 
sheep, 30 horses, 10 mules, besides hogs and other stock. 
His orchard has a variety of fruit, consisting of apples, pears, 
plums, pomegranates, figs, almonds, apricots, cherries, etc. 
These all do well and produce an abundance of fruit. 

Eli Furman was born in Ohio, on the Huron River. His 
early life was spent in trading and farming. He left Bloom- 
field, Iowa, in 1859, on the so-called Sander's route, nor h of 
Salt Lake, for California. After a trip of five months and five 
days he reached Santa Clara, October 5, 1859 and engaged in 
teaming In 1862 he moved to San Jose, and in 1869 came 
TZ*. He married Miss Dyantha A. Hall, m 1838 who 
W as a native of New York State. They have six boys: 
Irtnur W., William E., John 8, Alvin R.. Addrsor, ,0 ; «d 
Francis M. Furman. The three girls are named Ellen A., 
Bhoda E., and Clara M. Furman. 

livincr amongst strangers, so as 

"to learn the ways of the world. 

try County, and one year » ^Kansas ^ ^ ^ 

going to California. o£ a p. ^ & ^ rf 

with a drove of horses across the con ^ ^ 

Sacramento, where he arrived ,a the year 
wards lived in Stockton. lsfis and bought his farm 

He came to Merced County m 1868. ' q£ ^ 

of 840 acres of splendid farmmg and rf wheat 

best in the county. It wrll *™*^ Uy situate d, being 
per acre in ordinary seasons. ^ ^ ^ w ,, rtfa 

within six mil 

Looking through the pages of our "Dlustrated County 
H lry" we find the picture of the home belongmg to Mr. E. 
T*X who has acquired his property through long years 

of toil and labor. H e was born in Gen- 

Mr Healy s a native of New YorK. n* 

.^October 1,1- * J^^ 

farm wh r ^;^:"whTtmily moved to 
Pamelia Healy, un td 1815 when ^ 

Ca ;T" "Si -: JtS3 Manufacturing threshing 
rreifl'r years; he then returned to his parents and 
forked two years at t Warn, ^ ^ ^ 

* th ?:;mintd to go to California. They hired three men 
in-law, determmed to g ^ ^ rtei 

bought two wagons . d to -°- . Counoil Bluffs. It 

, gh ttwo -J— continent>a Council Bluffs. 
on then- journey ««- ^ ^ steamf 

-^r^bo. was notrunnmg, they were—e 

of either railroad or 



a large train of Mormons, with whom they traveled to Salt 
Lake City, where they arrived safely on the first day of Sep- 
tember, 1853. The Mormons treated Mr. Healy's party very 
kindly, acted as protectors against the Indians roving about, 
and doing a good many little acts which showed kindness. 
Twenty-five miles from Salt Lake City, at the mouth of 
Briglmin's Canon, Mr. Healy's party built winter quarters, 
where they stayed for eight months. 

Here Mr. Healy left his party, in order to join J. M. Mont- 
gomery's train, with whom he came through to California, 
arriving at that gentleman's ranch, on Bear Creek, Merced 
County, August 14, 1854. 

During the dry winter of 1854-55, Mr. Healy mined in 
Mariposa County, but had poor success, barely making expenses. 
So, in the fall of 1356, he returned to Merced County, to work 
again for Mr. Montgomery. 

In 1858 he had saved enough to buy his present farm of 
1,880 acres, situated on Mariposa Creek, six miles from Merced 
County Seat, four miles from the railroad, and three miles from 
school. The land is of good quality, averaging thirty bushels 
of wheat and fifty bushels of barley per acre. He also keeps 
some stock for farm use, generally ten horses, four head of cattle, 
and other animals. 

October 21, 1880, he married Mrs. Lizzie Ashley, a native of 


The following account of an artesian well on Healy Brothers' 
ranch will be found interesting, as most of the flowing wells 
bored, so far, in this county are shallow, ranging from 150 to 
300 feet in depth, but latterly they have been boring deeper, 
and in two instances splendid streams have been obtained at a 
little less than 500 feet. 

The Healy Brothers, on their Mariposa Creek ranch, obtained 
a good flowing stream at a depth of 483 feet. This was the 
first deep well ever sunk in that part of the county, and fully 
rewards them for their grit and enterprise, for in addition to 
the present advantages of a fine flowing well, the fact that ar- 
tesian water can be obtained there increased indefinitely the 
value of every acre of land in that locality. 

On the Merced Colony Tract, some eight miles northwest of 
Merced, there are twelve flowing wells, the water of which is 
being turned to good account in irrigating the soil. 


Augustine Smith was born in Hallowell, Maine, on the 
fourth of October, in 1835, his parents being John and Re- 
becca Smith. Lived on a farm until the age of seventeen, 
when he left his home to make his way as he desired. Having 
somewhat of a mechanical genius, he learned the carpenter's 
trade in Boston, spending nearly two years at that occupation 
in Massachusetts. 

He concluded to seek a more congenial climate. Started from 

Boston by the"Nicaragua Route, and after a little over a month's 
journey on the steamer Cortege arrived in the harbor of San 

Francisco in February, 1854. Lived some six or seven months 
in the city, following his trade as a means of livelihood, until 
the <*old fever so entranced his mind that he determined to try 
his hand at picking up gold on the hill-sides of some mountain 


On reaching Rough and Ready, in Nevada County, little 
time elapsed ere it found him engaged in that pursuit, but 
meeting with no success, he soon abandoned the claim and 
bought into a mill for making lumber, following in that line 
for two years and meeting with moderate success. 


He sold out and again took up mining on the Yuba River, 
near Bridgeport, where in company with others, he built a 
flume over a mile in length, over a country of so rough a 
nature that the lumber and other material used had to be 
transported on their shoulders, but thinking that they were 
^oing to strike a rich mine, it required little effort to work 
with willing hearts and hands, at a great cost and many priva- 
tions for two years, only to be again disappointed and in a 
more precarious condition, having contracted many debts dur- 
ing the time, prominent among which was a bill for merchan- 
dise. Imagine the dismay within the ranks on receiving posi- 
tive information from the merchant to the effect that the bill 
must be paid or no more credit. This caused a desperate reso- 
lution within each one to settle that at all hazards, and to do so 
would bankrupt the whole company. As it was Christmas, and 
their pockets empty, it was a very poor prospect of a Christ- 
mas dinner, for at that time it took one dollar to obtain but an 
ordinary meal ; but luck was theirs, for the merchant gave a 
dinner on behalf of a few friends and Smith and companions 
received an invitation. After a bountiful repast and appetites 
gratified, their aims were never higher, their youthful natures 
and buoyant spirits urged them to persevere to win success, so 
they started back to an empty camp consulting among them- 
selves as to what course to take so as to continue the mine and 
develop it. Arriving at a conclusion, a portion went to work 
on a toll-road, then being built, to furnish the rest means to go 
on, but after several months patient toil they were compelled 
to abandon their mine with blasted hopes. They separated in 
disgust, each one taking different directions. 

Mr. Smith then drifted to a little town called French Cor- 
ral, in Nevada County, where he found employment as foreman 
in the Shady Creek Ditch Company, in whose employment he 
remained until he had at his disposal some little money, then 
the old ardent desire to embark in mining again took posses- 
sion of him. He bought an interest in a hydraulic mine, and 
contracted a great debt upon himself in fitting out the mine to 
his idea as to how it should be constructed to be in a paying 
condition and meet with the desired end. 




He again entered the road to fortune, for after a few months 
of enterprise, he had cleared enough to take off the indebted- 
ness and leave his interest unencumbered. Continuing to work 
on at a good compensation for ten years or so, when health 
failed and it became evident that there must be a change, con- 
sequently, disposing of his interest took his departure for San 
Francisco, and thence on a trip to the Eastern States and his 
old home— the Pine State. 

After severai months' sojourn, returned to California, making 
the journey both ways by water, it being just a year previous 
fco the completion of the Overland route. After traveling 
three years seeking health as well as mental occupation , 
through several different counties in the- State, he finally, 
located in Merced County, and bought a tract of farming 
land lying along the Mariposa Creek on the township 
line due south from Merced, comprising 800 acres, six miles 
from the town. Merccdis the nearest railroad station, although 
Plainsburg switch is counted the same distance^ There is no 
direct water communication; the San Joaquin River lies south 
and west some eight miles, and is navigable only during 
the high water, when occasionally a steamer comes up to 
load wthwool and grain along the banks. Oppos.te the 
northern line is situated a little school house that -°— 
about forty or fifty pupils, school being kept six months in the 

7 Wheat and barley are the principal products of export but 

i:^^ — oflrk car! be accomplished 

with them. AETESU K WELLS. 

Be mg within the artesian belt, the wat,^,su S ed 

from these wells, which are arrive ^ 

000 fee, (See further no ice u d. Art, a J ^ ^ 

^ -* f rattCh :l'XZL atlhe present, the time not 
used for that purple by the ow ^ ^ 

bei ngfar distant ^^^ceuent artesian well 
There is in the center of the land rf 

that flows far beyond, whose waters quench 
head of sheep the year through. ^^ ^ a 

The nature of the soil > of a sa 7 and a ,f elicia, 

kind of adobe, which produces m £* ^ and 

also a bnnch-grass that is much liked by 

tender state. & Miss G . A. Ellis, of 

Mr. Smith was marr.ed in W .^ being raise d in 

Santa Barbara, who was a native ^ ^ 

Nevada County, and subsequently lived for som 

One of the first sketches in our collection is that of the home 
and farm of James Cunningham. The artist took a position 
on the high bank of the stream so as to look down upon the 
valley, residence and improvements. In the foreground are 
some of his stock, and in the distance is the stock-range o ' the 
foot-hills The house, with its large verandas, is surrounded with 
shade-trees, and presents a cozy and home-like appearance. 
Windmills supply the ground with water for domestic use as 
well as for irrigating the fruit and ornamental trees and vines. 
Mr Cunningham is one of the most successful and well- 
known farmers of Merced. He has had a great many adven- 
tures and experiences, but none more thrilling than this one 
written by himself and published in the Mariposa Gazette .- 
■•Humboldt County, Nevada, May 10, 1865. 
"I was not at home when the Indians attacked the ranch on 
the second of April. They shot one of the men and two horses; 
burned the house and drove off forty head of horses and seventy 
head of cattle. We have not recovered any of them yet. 
moved the stock immediately opposite Star City and Umon- 
ville where I thought they would be safe, but it turned out 
differently. On the night of the fifth, we were surprised about 
9 o'clock I had got everything ready to start on the fifteenth, 
had been at Star City, and just returned with the batchy 
who wanted to purchase some calves. We were about to go to 
bed when the Indian war-whoop was raised and repeated n aU 
d lions throughout the hills. They came down on us like a 
squall and in a short time the house was surrounded by* 
lrm of Indians, armed with rifles. They commenced a rapid 

fa i^::r:£:Si 

was impossible to throw it off ^ 

around us, and we had again to take .Jo the 

operation, one o ammU nition gave 

foug ht for two oursa^d * ^ ^ ^ 

out . We crawled to the hou ^ ^ ^^ 

rhi::i-;---«" a ^ y ^ mu - 


W held a consultation and it was agreed that one of as 
,. We heldaeon ^ ammumt;on . J 

8h ould run the gaun^e toto fa ^ ^^ 

was chosen to make the tnaL t<> 

w , packing off *« tL«, the only horse left 
Star City is twenty miles ^ ^ aad 



boys gave me a clearance of 200 yards. I took my pistol and 
knife, jumped on Billy, and went off "like a streak of light- 
ning" The Indians were closing around the house again, 
mile brought me to the summit-which I had barely turned 
when the Indian yell broke upon my ear, and was taken up all 
the way down the canon, at different points, to the distance of 
six miles. I saw in a moment that the Indians were deter- 
mined that help should not reach us from town, and that none 
of us should escape. Could I reach town, the party might be 
saved, and probably the stock. I reflected but a few moments. 
To go back? Never / So I put on; the bullets whizzing from 
either side of the canon. The horse behaved nobly under a 
storm of yells and bullets, through which he bore me to the 
mouth of the canon. Here, by the moonlight, I saw two 
Indians ahead of me. To stop and fight might lose the party ; 
and there were no chances in my favor. . I kept the road until 
within 100 yards of them, when one of them fired and missed 
me. The other dashed across the road, wheeled, and fired as I 
passed. I still went on unhurt. They pursued me some six 
miles, when they gave up the chase. 

"I made Star City, got all the help I could, and telegraphed 
to Unionville. ' Captain Prescott, of the Star Volunteers, 
raised ten men and horses, Brighton & Brothers fifteen men 
and horses, and got to camp the same time as the Star Volun- 


" I made the distance from camp to Star City in one hour and 
a half. My horse was shot in two places. I had a bullet 
through my vest and breast of my coat; otherwise uninjured. 
As soon as the Indians saw that we could get help, they left 
with what stock they could gather, and all our horses. We 
pursued them for two days, and came up with them fifty miles 
above the head of the Humboldt canal." 


One of the most picturesque of our illustrations is the home 
ranch of A. G. Black, situated near Hornitos, Mariposa County. 
In the background of the view is seen the beautiful mountain, 
dotted with trees, cut into beautiful rolling hills by ravines 
lined by chaparral and small trees. In front of the residence 
is a stream winding through the farm and supplying water for 
stock. To the left of the view is the orchard and vineyard. 
The whole representing a quiet, homelike scene. 

A. G. Black was born in Maine, March 2, 1826, and spent his 
early life in farming and lumbering. He lived for some time 
in Bureau County, Illinois, and in 1853 he took the ship 
Mystery, at Boston, for the voyage around the Horn, and was 
120 days making the journey, reaching San Francisco, June 28, 
1853. He tried farming in the Pajaro. Valley for two years, 
and then came by way of Pacheco Pass with an ox-team to 
Mariposa County, and hauled lumber for Clark's saw-mill. In 
1856 he built a stable in Hornitos, and afterward kept a gro- 

in 1861 he visited his old 

eery store and teamed until 1865. 

home in the East. In 1862 -he began farming. His place 
consists of 735 acres situated near Hornitos, and twenty-eight 
miles from the railroad. The farm is used for pasturage, 
except a small part devoted to crops and gardening. 

Sheep-raising is made a specialty, and Mr. Black usually 
keeps some 2,500 head of sheep, forty head of cattle, thirty-five 
hogs, six horses, and other animals. On the place is a good 
orchard with a variety of fruit trees. There are forty peach, 
twenty-five apple, ten plum trees, etc. There is a good vine- 
yard of 800 grape-vines and a good vegetable garden. 

He married Miss Laura C. Warren in 1856, a native of 
Maine. They have no children. 


Twelve miles southeast of Merced is the farm of Silas Bow- 
man. It is situated in what is called Sandy Mush. He carries 
on a variety of farming, but has given considerable attention 
to sheep-raising. On the place are artesian wells which sup- 
ply the farm with water and furnish the sheep plenty of green 
grass which keeps them in good condition and free from scab 
and other diseases. One season his flock of 1,200 sheep sheared 
6,000 pounds of wool, an average of five pounds to the animal. 

On his farm is an orchard of a variety of trees and some 
vines. The vicinity of the residence is fenced into fields for 
convenience. He keeps some stock of all kinds. He is a prac- 
tical farmer and makes his business a success. 


No man occupies a more honorable position in this section 
than H. C; Daulton. He is a pioneer of the State, having 
arrived August 13, 1S50, at Hangtown. He came overland, 
with ox-teams, and was four months on the trip. 

The traveler who flies across the continent in palace cars, 
may think that he realizes the trials of such a journey; but 
nothing but actual experience will give one an idea of the plod- 
ding, unvarying monotony, the vexations, the exhausted energy, 
the throbs of hope, the depths of despair, through which the 
pioneer lived. Day after day, week after week, going through 
tffe same weary routine of breaking camp at daybreak, yoking 
the oxen, cooking meager rations over a fire of sage-brush and 
scrub-oak ; packing up again, coffee-pot and camp-kettle ; wash- 
ing scanty wardrobes in the little streams they crossed ; strik- 
ing camp again at sunset, or later if wood and water were 
scarce ; tired, dusty, tried in temper, worn out in patience — to 
. oro over the weary experience to-morrow. No excitement but 
a broken-down wagon, or the extra preparation made to cross 
a river, marked their way. 

He mined in the vicinity of Coloma, where gold was first 
discovered by Marshall, with but little success. Very rarely 
did men, on their arrival in the country, begin to work at their 
old trade or profession. To the mines first. If fortune favored, 



they soon quit tot more congenial employments. If she frowned, 
they mi<*t depart disgusted, if they were able; but oftener, 
from sheer inability to leave the business, they kept on, drifting 
from bar to bar, living fast, reckless, improvident, half-civilized 
Uvw comparatively rich to-day, poor to-morrow; tormented 
with rheumatisms and agues, remembering dimly thejoys uf the 
old homestead. In the spring of 1852 he returned to his East- 
n home but could not forget. the charms of California; so, in 
the spring of 1853, he engaged to drive an ox-team to California 
f r Thomas Hildreth, at fifteen dollars per month, leaving New 
T onion Missouri, with a heavy train of cattle and sheep, on the 
Lventeenth of May, 1853, coming by way of Salt Lake and, 
ft«r a hard journey, reached Los Angeles November 24, 18o3. 
From Los Angeles he came to Fresno County, his present 
hora e, in 1858, and engaged in stock-raising, principally sheep. 


His ranch is 16,000 acres, mostly grazing land, and fenced 

/Jith^^o miles of good board fence with re^ood 

I nl four ei-ht-inch boards to the panel; posts are set 

i::ri 0:1:, « ** *- * g . — ^ «* 

durable fence. sQV , unded by shade and orna 

'to its general appearance. ^ ^ ^ 

On the ranch he keep, 6 000 shej, ^ ^ 

profitable than cultivation ^ ^ * ewes , andIrora them, 
outness in 1856, with only 200 head ^ ^ 

by industry, frugality -"^'^ to give » idea of 
and his fortune. Our artist has endea W t g ^ 

Mr Daulton's home and surroundings, with a tow P 
his fine sheep in the foreground o the J . ^ ^ 

Besides the sheep he keeps^ 00 hea^ 
11 horses, and other stock. W an ^ 

twenty to forty bushels of wheat could b ^ ^ ^ 
but Mr. Daulton considers sheep as moie p 

that section of country. m Kentucky, in 1829. 

H. C. Daulton was born in Marysvi ^ ^ 

His parents moved » ^£™]^J ft the age of 
ing until their death, leavmg Hen y J ^ ^^ 

sixteen. He received a common sehoo ^ ^^ 

at farming in Missouri until Apnl, 18»0, - 
Missouri, for California. H; , t , r eth a native of Missouri, 

He married Miss Mary Jane Hildie -ss 

in 185,. They began life without a o lar, ^ ^ ^ ^ 
shows that industry and economy are jfe John 

perity. Their living children's ^ ■ - ■ Lo uisa, and 

Francis, Agnes, Naoma Grace Jonathans.. ^ ^ 

James William Daulton. Two of ha 
Sabrina and Thomas Henry, are not hv«V. 

Mr Daulton's ranch borders on Merced County. His post- 
office is Buchanan, Fresno County. It is twelve miles to the 
railroad and thirty-five miles to the county seat. 

In September, 1866, Mr. Daulton was elected to the office of 
Supervisor of District No. 1, in Fresno County, which position 
he occupied with entire satisfaction to his constituents for nine 
years, at the end of which time he published a -M« 
to hold the office longer. In noticing the subject the F,e»no 

*?£ Dachas faithfully filled the office of Supervisor for 
over eight years, and he will retire from the office a, he entered 
it with an unblemished reputation. No one can, with any 
d ; gl ,e of truthfulness, accuse him of misappropriating one 
single dollar of the county's fund, His retirement will be 
generally regretted." 


One of the largest land-owners is Mr. William M. Ray nor 
whose farm of 9,000 acres extends into three counties, v.. . 

CrSX "d o/cattle: and 20 horse. 

irrStadioining, but the nearest church^ 
lateen miles distant. Water transportation is about fifty 


to Richmond County in ordei to learnt athe 

Coming to New York, he, November 6^ « 

„ (w. ■- ~j^: d ::iy S : «. UP 

ate reaching ^1 he ^ the steamer ^i- £ or San 
Chag res rive, af -whic ^ ^ ^ ^ j . 

Francisco; but havm ^ ^ ^ rf coal and 

neying four months, left th ^ ^ ^^ to 

provisions, in Sa« Ba » ^ ^ 

San Francisco, wheie he ^^ ^^ m 

Clw^rCounly, J earned this county, 

18 --r^ri:^wh-::r ; o£ ^ 

York, and has » ^.^ Nfjlson Kayn0 r. 

Myrtle, Andreas Sylvester, a 


„f Merced County, and who repre- 
0w of the Supervisors of Me, ed ^ ^ ^ ^ 

sents the " west side, »* ■ B £ at the age f 

where he was born m 1832 and ^ ^ and he 

ttae3 ^lS— r^g a- nine ye,s of age. Being 
bad to make ltfe 



a blacksmith he traveled from place to place in search of busi- 
ness and information. On April 15, 1852, in company with a 
younger brother, who was drowned in Big Blue River in 1853, 
and in the employ of Dr. Cunningham of Independence, Mis- 
souri started for California with a drove of sheep. 

He arrived in Sacramento in October, 18-52, and worked 
at his trade, but was soon taken with mining fever, and at 
Nevada City made $11,000 the first eighteen months. He 
went to Oregon in the winter of 1855, and invested §10,000 m 
cattle and drove them to this State. He did well at this busi- 
ness until the drought of 1864 nearly ruined him financially. 
He lived in Solano County from 1856 to 1863, when he moved 
to the Berryewa Valley, Napa County, where he was well fixed, 
but soon lost all. He again worked at his trade and made a 

new start. „ , , 

He came to this county in 1869. He ha* oSO acres of land 
and is engaged in mixed husbandry, but principally raising 
wheat. The land is subject to irrigation from the San Joaquin 
and Kings River Canal. He has about 500 trees of all varie- 
ties, which grow to perfection and bear abundantly. 

He married Miss Mary Robinson in 1857. They have had 
eleven children; all but one are now living. Mr. Bibby is a mem- 
berof the Royal Arch Masons, the Knightsof Pythias, and Ancient 
Order of United Workmen, and in religion is Episcopalian. 
William Applegarth was born in Canada, in October, 
1830. His parents, John and Jane Applegarth, brought him 
up as a miller and farmer. 

Before coming to California, Mr. Applegarth lived in Hamil- 
ton, New York, which he left on June 20, 1860, to go per 
Pacific Mail Steamship Line to San Francisco. The trip occu- 
pied only twenty-five days, was accompanied with fine weather, 
no births, deaths or marriages happening, but all hands being 
sometimes obliged to feed on fish only. Mr. Applegarth arrived, 
well and full of working spirit, in Stockton February 14, 1860. 
Like many others, Mr. Applegarth commenced his life here 
as a miner, mining in Austin, White Pine, and in Plumas 
County, California. He had, like the plurality of miners, the 
luck of getting " dead broke," as they call it. 

Finding out that mining was not a very profitable business, 
Mr.. Applegarth went to farming again, living some time in 
Stockton, Woodbridge, Greenville and Brooklyn. He came to 
this county four years ago (1877), when he purchased his 
present farm of 1,200 acres of sandy loam land, yielding about 
twenty bushels of wheat and thirty bushels of barley per acre 
on an average. He keeps generally three cows, thirty horses, 
and twenty-tive hogs on his farm. 

The home is located seventeen miles from the county seat, 
seven miles from railroad, but a school is adjoining. 

In- 1871 Mr. Applegarth .married Miss Mina McPherson, a 
nativeof Canada West. They have three girls, named: Sarah 
May.'Mina Maud, and Mary-M. Applegartb.' 

Merced County can with truth boast of having some of the 
largest farms in the State belonging to single individuals. 
There is for instance the farm of Mr. John Cunningham, 
situated eighteen miles from Merced County Seat. Although 
not as large as many others it consists of 5,000 acres, almost 
,-icdit square miles, pasturing forty head of cattle, twenty hogs, 
twenty horses, and 2,000 sheep. The land is partly cultivated, 
and produces all sorts of grain. Part of if is a vineyard, yield- 
ing quite an amount of wine yearly; and the rest, rolling hills 
with beautiful scenery and woods, is used as a pasture. . 

Mr. John Cunningham is a native of Dun Given, County 
Londonderry, Ireland. He learned the carpenter's trade while at 
home and worked afterwards as ship-carpenter in Liverpool. 
Seeing so many ships leaving that port he got a desire to see 
something of the world, so in 1851 he bade his father, Mr. 
James Cunningham, good-bye, and took passage on a steamer 
bound for New York. From there he traveled per steamer 
south across the Isthmus, and finally landed in San Francisco. 
The first thing Mr. Cunningham did after reaching this 
State was to go to Grass Valley, where he stayed, occupying 
himself with mining until November, 1853. He had good 

success there. 

He lived afterward on the old Stockton and Fort Miller 
road. He afterwards came to this county, where he now 

Mr. Cunningham has only one child, a girl, named Rosa A. 
Cunningham, she being the fruit of Mr. Cunningham's mar- 
riage to Miss Mary Ann Maclusky. This worthy lady is a 
native of Mr. Cunningham's birthplace. There were married 
in 1867- 


D. E. Lewis is a native of Wayne County, Tennessee, where 
he was born October 2, 1821, and is a son of Earl and Eliza- 
beth Lewis. He married Sallie D. Lewis in 1847, who was a 
native of Tennessee. They have eleven children, all living in 
this county, and doing their share of labor. Their names are: 
Darwin Stuart, Mary Elizabeth, Beckie Wilson, Malissa Ann, 
Martha McAllister, Virginia Lee, Emma Frances, Jessie 
Cammie, Jasper Franklin, Charlotte Jane, and David Neal 

Their farm of 200 acres is situated within six miles of Plains- 
burg, twelve miles from county seat, nine miles from the rail- 
road, eighteen miles from San Joaquin River, and twenty 
miles from Merced River. A school is within two and onedialf 
miles, and the church is only six miles distant. The land is 
first-class, and yields an average of thirty bushels per acre. 

Mr; Lewis owns twenty head of cattle, thirty hogs, 1,500 
sheep, twelve horses and five mules. 

Before coming to California he lived in Tennessee until 183/ ; 
: afterwards in Washington County, Arkansas. Engaged in 



Rtock-raising ten year-. Then lie lived two years at Fort Coffee 
superintending schools. 

In 1846 he entered the army, voluntarily joining Company 
F of mounted riflemen, commanded by Capt. J. Dillard, the 
regiment being under the command of Colonel Zell. In June, 
1847, Mr. Lewis received his discharge just after the battle of 
Buena Vista in Mexico, and landed in New Orleans July 4, 
1S47 He returned home and was married on December 16th 
of same year. He built a saw and grist-mill, and in 1848 
moved to Texas and settled on the Colorado River, working at 
blacksmithing two years. From there he moved to California 
across the plains via Salt Lake, arriving in San Bernardino 
November 17, 1855, having been seven months and ten days 

on the road. 

Mr. Lewis came to Merced County in May, 1856, and occu- 
pies his time partly with farming and partly with blacksmithing 


Two miles west of Plainsburg, on Mariposa Creek, which 
winds itself gracefully through the farm, is situated the home 
of Mr John Warren Morley, born September 29, 1836, son of 
Israel Dodge and Samantka Morley, of Onondaga County, 

New York. 

His wife was Miss Abbie Jane Spangenberg, who was born 
June 16, 1844, in Pennsylvania, and married in 1869. Then- 
children are Albert Warren, born August 5, 1871; Eugene 
Leland, born July 29, 1873; Walter Spangenberg, bom June 
3 1875- and Helen Annette Morley, born January 26, 187b. 
' His firm comprises 680 acres of sandy sediment and adobe 
soil, averaging annually twenty-five bushels of wheat or forty 
bushels of barley, is well stocked, and has plenty of water and 
fine pasturage. It is only three miles distant from the n£ 
road and eight miles from county seat. A school- w,th u 
three-fourth: of a mile, and steamboats come to w.tlnn twenty 

""Mr Morley's history is not one of great variations or inci- 
dent, but one which shows that hard work is a more certain 
road towards wealth than adventure ^and lu£ ^^ 

Mr. Morley lived on a farm until 1847, wire 
to run a one horse-power threshing machine, under he do* 
tions of his father. He has followed that ^°^™ 
ever since, and runs one of the finest machines "»^*Lr 
He lived in De Kalb County, Indian, on^^ £ 

rie , two years, Jonesvil.e, ^?j£'^ Seat, up 
County, Indiana, three mxles south o An 

to 1852. He left the last named ^££ ^Jto 

wagon, for California, He went first to ®^ 

Iowa City and Council; erossed he K«o ^ J 

2. 1852, and arrived in Hangtown, Augus^ ^ 

no chanee to see much of interest, as he was un ^ 

fined to the wagon, during the whole tr.p, 

inflammatory rheumatism. 

Before entering this county, on November 16, 1869, he lived 
in San Joaquin County, and from the fall of 1853 until the 
fall of 1869, on the Tuolumne River, in Stanislaus County. 

The view of his fine place, which is one of our largest illus- 
trations, gives a very good idea of Mr. Morley's home, situated 
cur the banks of the stream, surrounded by orchard, out-bmld- 
ings, windmills, and all the requisites of a farm home. Dot- 
ting the farm will be noticed noble old oak trees, and in the 
distance, partly hid by the trees, the village of Plainsburg. 
The farm presents a scene of activity, with the headers cutting 
the wheat, and separator, with its steam-power, separating the 
wheat from the chaff. Here will also be noticed that new and 
useful arrangement, the boarding-car, that relieves the family 
of the cooking and care of the hands during harvest time. 


It is a fact that mostly such men succeed in this world who 
start life humbly and work hard; they are generally called 
self-made men. Such a one is Mr. Robert Earl, a native of 
Ohio and son of Edward and Elizabeth Earl. He was born 
in 1840, and followed farming all his life, and is therefore one 
of the best and moat successful farmers of Merced. 

Before coming to California he lived in Knoxville, Knox 
County, Illinois, which he left, per ox and ^mule-tram , to 
travel over the plains, in order to reach the Go den S ate. H 
m ade the trip in six months, had no troubles with Indians and 
had, altogether, an agreeable trip, which terminated at Stock 
ton September 19, 1861. 

llLl brought his wife with him, who. he ^ Un 

Iffinois, in 1861. Her maiden name was M,ss Mary Vint 

di d in Stockton, in 1864, after a short marned Me o 

e years. Mr. Earl beeame unite lonesome after tins sad 

vent » in 1865 he returned to Illinois, where, after a stay 

wo years, he, on August 9, 1867, married Miss KenaUne 

GWr with whom he returned to Stockton, reaching that 

Uonnei, win moved into this 

Floyd Earl. 


,f a farm of 700 aeres of land, which yields, 
Altho ngh owne. o farm _ ^ ^ 

on an average, fiom y ■> mao hinery, which 

Ml , E arlis,withreason,proud h ; ^ tsinMerad 

"TTndTlCtd m' one day 1,077 sacks of whea, 
Sowl-rteen .nd horses, used on the farm and 

in threshing. cmmty seat( three 

HiS r ir.- -d post-office, one mile from 
^r—^esfrom water transportation. 



The "Willow Farm," which is beautifully situated within 
eight miles of Hill's Ferry, belongs to J. L. Crittenden, who 
was born April 18, 1832, at Otis, Berkshire County, Massachu- 
setts He lived thereuntil he was seven years of age, when 
his parents, John and Lucinda Crittenden, moved, by way of 
the Erie Canal, to Buffalo, and thence on Lake Erie to Cleve- 
land Ohio. There Mr. John Crittenden, Sr., procured wagons 
and moved to Medina, about thirty miles from Cleveland, 
where they commenced life by renting a piece of land and liv- 
ing in a log house in the woods. They lived happily on the 
products of their hard labor for ten years, when they decided 
to move to California. 

The trip overland was tedious and coupled with a great 
many troubles and incidents. The provisions gave out and 
obliged them to kill their mules to sustain life, as they were a 
long distance from any station or cabin. Other travelers were 
met on the road, and provisions had to be divided with them, 
or suffer the consequences. At last, after eighty days' journey- 
ing, they arrived in Hangtown, El Dorado County, where 
young Crittenden, then seventeen years of age, went to mining, 
He afterwards mined in Volcano, where he was quite successful. 
In 1872 Mr. Crittenden, the subject of this sketch, married 
Miss A. M. Greenough, a native of Bangor, Maine, with whom, 
after purchasing his present farm, he moved into this county, 
November, 1872. Previous to his arrival he lived in Contra 
Costa County. They have no children living. 

The farm consists of 320 acres of land, yielding on an aver- 
age about twenty bushels of wheat and barley per acre. It 
also affords pasturage for his stock, amounting usually to three 
cows, fifty hogs, two horses and twenty-four mules The farm 
is located about fifty miles from the county seat, twenty miles 
from railroad, eight miles from water communication, and four 
miles from school and church. It is on the "west side," and 
near Los Banos. 


It is really a pleasant thing to record the biographies of 
men, who, through their activity and spirit, become successful. 
They are what are called self-made men. California is noted for 
them. They may be found everywhere. Mr. Penegar is one. 

Mr. G. R Penegar, born July 25, 1835, the son of Leonard 
and Margareta Penegar, was raised on a farm in Ohio ; attended 
school there and worked at farming until he felt the desire of 
going to California. He left the vicinity, three miles of Colum- 
bus, Ohio, and went to Independence, Missouri, in 1864, and 
April 16th of that year he traveled, per ox-train, as a passen- 
ger, towards this State. The trip occupied five months, and 
■was pleasant all the way through, excepting that some Indians 
were prowling around their camps at night, which necessitated 
putting on guards, obliging Mr. Penegar to act in that capacity 
every third night. 

Mr Pene-ar arrived at Placerville August 29, 1854, and 
directed his attention first to mining, having ordinary success 
in doing so, at American River and in Mariposa County, where 
he rained for nine years. 

October 1 1879, he married Mrs. Mary S. Shang, a native 
of Missouri, who proved herself a worthy helpmate in acquir- 
ing and superintending his large estate. They have no chil- 
dren Mr Penegar has been East twice since living m tins 
county, and made one trip to Oregon. He arrived in this 
county October 1, 1874. 

Mr Penegar's farm consists of 3,800 acres good farming 
land, which will average twenty bushels annually of wheat 
per acre. He has under cultivation 1,200 acres, and uses the 
rest as grazing land. His stock consists of a dozen horses, 
twenty-five hogs, and two cows. The farm is conveniently 
situated, within twelve miles of the Southern Pacific Railroad, 
and two" miles from a church and school. Merced County Seat 
is twenty miles distant. It being within twenty miles of 
either railroad or water transportation makes it a very desira- 
ble location. He has given it the pretty name of " Antelope 
Ranch." It is a very desirable home, as may be seen by a 
sketch made by our artist. 


One of the prominent farmers of this county is Mr. Thomas 
Givens, who came into this county in 1853. He resided at 
first in Hornitos, and occupied himself with mining, but had 
only partial success; so in 1858 he went to Santa Clara 
County, where he went to farming, but considering the San 
Joaquin Valley a better place, he returned, and now owns a 
farm of 1,000 acres, devoted to general farming and stock- 

The farm is located eighteen miles from the county seat, 
twenty-five miles from the railroad station, thirty-five miles 
from water communication, and has a church and school close 
at hand. It consists of rolling hills, timbered, and clay loam, 
averaging about twenty-five bushels to the acre of wheat in 
average seasons. 

Mr. Givens has also a great love for stock-raising. He owns 
at present from forty to fifty head of cattle, 100 hogs, and 
twenty head of horses and mules. In this department he is 
also very successful. 

Mr. Givens was born July 3, 1836, in Union County, Ken- 
tucky, where he lived with his parents, Thomas and Catherine 
Givens, of Caseyville, Kentucky, until December 24, 1S52, 
when he traveled to California via the Isthmus, the trip occu- 
pying thirty days. He landed at San Francisco February 4, 

He was married to a Miss Sarah J. Wills, a California 
lady, in 1876, and has now two nice little boys, named Samuel 
B. Givens, aged four years; and Robert G. Givens, aged two 
. years. 






E. W. Butfum was born in Walpole, Cheshire County, New 
Hampshire, November 7/1830. He attended the school of 
his native place and the academy until 1849, when he entered 
Harvard Law School, and graduated in the class of 1851. He 
afterward studied law with Fredrick Vose, in Walpole, and 
was admitted to the bar in Cheshire County, in 1852. 

He left New York City January 20, 1853, for California, 
on the steamer Northern Light; came via Nicaragua, and took 
the steamer Independence at San Juan del Sur, the fourth day 
of February. 

At about 5 o'clock Wednesday morning, the sixteenth day 
of February, the Independence, was wrecked when off the 
south point of Marguerita Island. Mr. Buffum succeeded in 
reaching the island by means of a plank, and remained upon 
the island until about six o'clock the following Friday. He 
was taken on board the whaleship Meteor, Captain Jeffries, 
then at anchor in the Bay of Alagdalena, and sailed out of the 
bay the third day of March, and arrived at San Francisco the 
thirty-first day of March — seventy days from New York City. 
He engaged in mining at Auburn, Placer County, in 1853, 
and part of 1854, and was partially successful. 

He came to Mariposa County in the summer of 1854, and 
afterward engaged in building water ditch to the mines, and 
in stock-raising and farming. He entered into partnership 
with N. S. Stockton (Buffum & Stockton) in 1854; and their 
operations are mentioned further on. 

Mr. Buffum has held the office of Supervisor since 1874. 
He was re-elected in 1877, and again in 1880, and holds the 
office now. We can say nothing stronger for his ability, 
integrity, and popularity among his neighbors, than this: 
That while he is a Republican, his district has a large Demo- 
cratic majority. 

N. S. Stockton was born in Lawrence County, Alabama, 
February 1, 1833. He lost his mother when a year old. His 
father soon after moved to Itawambo County, Mississippi, and 
resided there until 1844, where Nathaniel went to school most 
of the time. Afterwards they removed to Shelby County, 
Tennessee, where he attended school when his health would 

permit, until 1851. 

He started f rom Fisherville Tennessee, December 23, 1851, 
taking steamer at Memphis for New Orleans, arriving there Jan- 
uary 1 1852, andhad to remain there until about the lothforthe 
California steamer Empire City to sail. Arrived at Havana 
on the Island of Cuba, in due season, three days m advanee of 
the New York steamer with which they had to form a junc- 
tion, which gave a good opportunity of visiting pmnts of mter- 
est near Havana, of which they gladly availed hemselves^ On 
the arrival of the New York steamer Georgia, they were trans- 
t d and sailed for the mouth of the Chagres K.ver, where 

they had to land in small boats, the sea being very rough; 
landing, however, without any difficulty or accident, they pro- 
ceeded up the river in small boats, dug out of large trees, to 
Guagona, a small town at the head of navigation, and wended 
their way on to Panama on foot, distance twenty-eight miles, 
arriving late in the evening ami going aboard the steamer 
Golden Gate, commanded by Captain Patterson, early the fol- 
lowing morning, and sailed for San Francisco at 9 o'clock, 
arriving at that place in the latter part of February, 1852, 

He came to this county September, IS.'i-t. and funned a 
copartnership with E. W. Buffum (firm name Buffum fc Stock- 
ton), which still continues, and engaged in building a water 
ditch for the sale of water to the miuei's, and kept said ditch in 
operation for about ten years. He was also engaged in rais- 
ing cattle, horses, mules, hogs and goats. 


In 1864 they embarked in the Angora goat business, and 
have continued up to the present time with good success. They 
have a flock numbering 1,700, consisting of thorough -breds and 
high grades, having shorn from a grade nine and nne-half 
pounds of good Mohair, being one year's growth. This ranch is 
in Mariposa County. 

Messrs. Bufi'um & Stockton were the first in this section to 
engage in the breeding of Angora goats, and we believe have 
found the business profitable. They have a reputation for fair 
dealing and do not misrepresent the grade of their stock. 

They sold in January, 1880, a lot of goats of high grade to 
parties in Butte County. They were eighty in number and 
bred on their farm. They were large, fat, and clad in fine fleeces 
of nearly a year's growth. 

The Goat ranch consists of 640, acres of grazing land, 200 
acres under fence and sixty in crops of barley and wheat. Hay 
yields two tons per acre. There is a small orchard of. a vari- 
ety of trees and about forty grapevines. Some two years ago 
they sold their cattle, and now keep only two milch cows, but 
of hoo-s 500 head, horses fourteen, and mules same number. 
The chief feature is their large herd of 1,700 goats. 

The have also a farm in Merced County, seven miles south of 
Merced, consisting of 640 acres, devoted to wheat. They man- 
age the' farm themsel ves. Neither of them were ever married. 


Hawkins' Ferry was established many years ago by John 
Hawkins. He was a native of St, Louis. He married a young 
lady who had been six months a captive among the Comanche 
Indians. Some fifty had been taken captive and William 
Bent purchased her freedom and that of two other girls. 

He started for California in 1849 with several others under 
the guidance of the celebrated Captain Joe Walker. In June 
1852 Hawkins moved to and located on the right bank of the 
Merced River about three miles from its mouth. He died in 

185S leaving a 

widow, three sons and four daughters. 

3" 62 


Newspaper Enterprises. 

First Newspapers. Failures snd Triumphs. 

The "Argus," "Express" and "Star" 

firmly established. 


The first newspaper ever printed and published in Merced 
County was the Merced Banner, with Robert J. Steele as editor 
and publisher, and Mrs. Rowena Granice Steele as assistant 
editor. The press and material which had been purchased by 
Mr. Steele, was that which had been used in the office of the 
Stanislaus Index, at Knight's Ferry, Stanislaus County. After 
arrangements had been made, such as securing a good list of 
subscribers at five dollars each, and a respectable number of 
a«ls, a room for an office and a dwelling for the family, the 
next thing was to get the press and typo over that thirty 
miles of road between Knight's Ferry and Snelling, then the 
county seat of Merced. 


Mr. Peter Fee, Sr., a highly respectable Norwegian gentle- 
man, who lived two miles from the town of Snelling. stepped 
forward and offered to bring it over with his ox-team. His 
offer was gladly accepted, and on the twenty fifth of June, 1862, 
a large number of people gathered in the little town, and with 
nervous expectation watched the coming of the bovine proces- 
sion. They were not kept long in suspense, for before the sun 
sank on that bright June day, the horns of the oxen were seen, 
then the whole team and wagon, with its precious freight and 
brave driver, came winding down the bluff, and as the proces- 
sion neared the town shouts loud and strong went up, and their 
-sound mingled with the dust, and the cheering was kept up 
until the tired oxen stopped in front of the office. Strong men 
volunteered to lift and carry, and in a short time everything 
belonging to a country printing office was safely landed inside 
the door. Then of course they all adjourned to the hotel to 

The next day Mr. Steele, with his little step-sons, Harry and 
George Granice, aged respectively nine and twelve years, set to 
work in good earnest to get out the first issue. Mr. Steele had 
promised the people that they should have the Banner, the 
morning after the glorious Fourth. So with his little type- 
setter and roller-boy he divided his time between the type and 
his pen, while Mrs. Steele plied the pen and scissors in the 

interest of her department. And true to promise, the paper 
went forth on the fifth of July, 1862. Copies of the paper 
were sent gratuitously to one or more post-offices in all the 
Western and Southern States. 

Mr. and Mrs. Steele had come to Merced to stay, and they 
meant to use their best endeavors to herald to the world the 
resources of Merced County, and do all in. their power with pen 
and type, to bring people from afar, who would develop the 
richness of the land, thousands of acres of which was at that 
time lying idle, and supposed by many to be worthless and 
unproductive. And for a short time their efforts were appre- 

Then came discord and political broils of a local nature; one 
wanted the paper edited in one way, to suit him, and another 
wanted it edited some other way, to suit his particular fancy; 
but Mr. Steele could not accommodate all, so he went on in 
his own way for nearly two years. 

The Banner was a Democratic paper, hut not disloyal. It 
was not Democratic enough for some. Things were getting so 
unpleasant that Mrs. Steele withdrew her name from the paper 
as editress; still she continued to write domestic stories and 
pleasant locals. 


But a change came! One morning in February, 1864, at 
about eight o'clock, while Mr. Steele was engaged in printing 
cards, the office door was thrown open and he found himself 
surrounded by a band of men dressed in blue and armed to the 
teeth. Four of them leveled their guns and requested him to 
step out into the street. " What is your business, gentlemen?" 
he said. " We have come to destroy this press and type," was 
the reply. Mr. Steele walked out, and then commenced the 
destruction. Mrs. Steele, who was busy preparing breakfast 
in a back room, hearing the terrible noise, caught up her infant 
son and run to the office door, but was ordered back. The 
scene was one of terror and confusion for about ten minutes, 
then the work was done; the type scattered, the press broken 
in pieces and the stove, which was full of fire, was upset, and 
the office was in a blaze. The brave fellows (?) twenty-eight 
in number, then rode off, calling out, " We are a band of broth- 
ers on our own hook."* 

The fire was extinguished by Mrs. Steele and her little sons. 
Hundreds of men gathered in town as the news spread of the 
destruction, and by noon the Court House yard was filled with 
excited people. But like many other things the excitement 

*It was afterwards ascertained that this ruthless set of fellows were a com- 
pany of United States Cavalry, who had been sent from Benicia to Visalia 
under Captam Starr but had become so unruly that the Captain had sent a 
request to headquarters to have them exchanged for a company of Infantry, 
and they were on their way back to Benicia and had reached Hill's Ferry, 
when they proposed to cross over to Snelling and "bust up the Banner office." 
Captain Starr refused to accompany them, and being defenseless wion twenty- 
eight armed men on a desert, he could not detain them. The excuse of the 
ruffians was that certain articles reflecting upon them as soldiers had appeared 
hi the Banner, and they would have their revenge. 



died away, and no one was injured save Mr. Steele and his 
family. But even with this dark prospect Mr. Steele soon 
picked up the type and got the press mended and went on with 
the paper. So with the aid of half a dozen little boys who 
volunteered, the type was all put into pans and Harry and 
George Steele commenced distributing. Mr. Steele, with the 
assistance of some friendly neighbors, got the press up on a 
wooden leg, and the week following a very small Banner came 
out of the chaos. 

A few weeks later, a man by the name of Pierce came to 
SnelHng, and by his bland manners and -smooth tongue induced 
a wealthy gentleman, a resident of the county, to advance him 
the money to purchase the good-will and remnants of the 
office. The arrangement was completed, and the paper came 
out with a flashy name and bold and boasting editorials. But 
its life was short, for in less than a month the man was arrested 
and taken to Alcatraz. Then the paper was run a short time 
under a new name, with the late Free Lawrence as editor. 


The following year, 1865, James W. Robertson and P. D. 
Wigginton assumed the proprietorship of the material and 
edited it at Snelling, under the name of the Merced Herald, 
In an introductory article they say: " Despite repeated efforts 
to permanently establish a newspaper in Merced County, we 
have undertaken the publication of the Herald. Measuring 
our prospect for success by that of those who have preceded us 
in this county, we have little to induce us to the undertaking. 
We have ever believed that a newspaper properly conducted 
could be made to live in Snelhng." 

Six months after, P. D. Wigginton sold out to Robertson, who 
continued to run it till some time during the year 1867, when 
he sold out to L. W. Tollott, who ran it for three months. 

In August, 1868, Robert J. Steele returned to Snelling and 
rented the office and material from Tollott, and ran it still as 
the Herald, and during the year he met with sufficient success 
to induce him to purchase an entire new office. 


On the twenty-second of August, 1809, the San Joaquvn, 
Valley Argus made its first appearance from the new press. 
It was issued weekly until the twenty-ninth of March, 1873 

The county seat having changed, Mr. Steele found rt to us 
interest to move his office to Merced, and Saturday morning after 
mailing the issueof the twenty-ninth, the office waspackedand 
taken to Merced, a distance of eighteen miles; and on Satur- 
day, the fifth of April the SanJoaawi Valley Argus made it, 
second bow to the residents of Merced City; where, until 
December, 1875, it was published in the interest of he Inde-. 
pendent party. At that time financial troubles caused the ty 
and press to fall into the hands of other parties. And in Apul, 

1876, Mr. Steele purchased the old wooden-legged press and 
the original type from Mr. Tollott, of Snelling, and again the 
San Joaquin Valley Argus lived. But it was destined to 
another change. 

On the second of April, 1877, the Argus office was attached on 
pretense of a belief that it was owned by another party, and, 
strange to say, was falsely and fraudulently held by the Con- 
stable, Ed. Parker, for one year, and then as mysteriously 
returned to, as it was taken from, its rightful owuer, Robert J. 

Notwithstanding the office was closed, Mrs. R. G. Steele 
determined to start the paper, and on the fifth of January, 1S78 , 
The San Joaquin Valley Argus made its first appearance, with 
Mrs. Steele as editor and proprietor. It was wholly printed in 
San Francisco until April 5, 1S79, when the press, type, and 
material were returned to the office, where it still does good 
service, with Mrs. Rowena G. Steele, publisher, and Robert 
J. Steele, editor. 

The history of the press, type, and the indomitable owners, 
editors, and publishers of The San Joaquin Valley Argus, 
if given in full, would doubtless be the most astonishing 
history of curious events ever published. 


This paper was started in Merced City, March 23, 1872, 
with Harry H. Granice as publisher and editor. It was a six- 
column paper, published in the interest of the people of Merced 
without regard to politics. Mr. Granice was a Republican in 
principle, but he felt that the time had not come for the suc- 
cessful publication of a Republican paper in Merced. With 
the assistance of a young boy by the name of Neuraan Jones, 
son of L. F. Jones of Mariposa, now a prosperous young lawyer 
of Mariposa, this energetic young man, twenty-two years of 
age, issued promptly every week a neat paper for fourteen 
Jeeks. In the meantime a Democratic paper was started, and 
young Mr. Granice very j udiciously came to the conclusion that 
Merced County at that time could not support three newspapers, 
so with a well-written valedictory he bowed himself out of the 

editorial chair. 

June 22, 1872, the editor says: "It is with feelings of 
regret circumstances over which we have no control compel us 
to°suspend the publication of the Merced People. Some three 
months ago we commenced its publication as a business enter- 
# * * but we have not received that support which 
wTld justify us in continuing its publication longer. We have 
been its editor, printer, proof-reader, canvasser, and 'devil' 
since the first number of our little paper was presented to the 


The Merced Tribune was started at Merced City, March, 
1S72, with L. F. Beckwith as editor and proprietor. It was 



extremely Democratic in its principles. Mr. Beekwith was an 
experienced journalist, and gave to the public a good, readable 
paper. He had purchased a house and lot and brought his 
family to Moj-ced, with a desire to make it his future home. 
But the leaders of the party became dissatisfied with him 
because they could not mold him to their will. He was heard 
to say, " Gentlemen, in politics I can be very bitter and vin- 
dictive, but when you wish me to attack private character and 
think that I will, you are -mistaken in your man." Mr. Beck- 
with left many warm friends at Merced. The paper continued 
to be published as the Tribune until December, 1875. It then 
changed hands, becoming the property of the Stoneroad Broth- 
ers, and was called the Merced Express. 


In the year 1875, the residents of the little town of Merced, 
.California, had cast over them a cloud of sorrow by the sad news 
of the untimely death of Edward Madden, Esq,, the editor and 
proprietor of a paper published in this county known as the 
Merced Tribune. 

Soon after the occurrence of this death several enterprising 
citizens of the county, viz., Messrs. P. D. Wiggington, Patrick 
Carroll, A. J. Meany, E. M. Stoddard and Samuel C. Bates, 
Esqrs., purchased the material of the late Tribune office and 
forming themselves into a company, known and styled as the 
Merced Publishing Company, commenced the publication of 
the subject of this sketch, of which the first number appeared 
on the twenty-third day of January, A. D. 1875, in a neat 
dress and creditable to its publishers. 

The young enterprise was, by its proprietors, steadily carried 
on under the guidance of the company until March 20, 1S75, 
when Frank H. Farrar, Esq., a young gentleman of liberal 
ability and good business qualifications, was retained by the 
company as the future editor and business manager, and on 
that day appears the first number of the Express under Mr. 
Farrar's editorship, a brilliant, newsy and very attractive 

Under Mr. Farrar's management the paper prospered and 
continued until the seventeenth day of April, a. d. 1875 
when Mr. Farrar purchased the young enterprise, and on that 
date it was issued to its patrons as the sole property of its 
former manager. In this gentleman's salutatory address he 
promised his patrons that under its new ownership it would 
continue, as it had in the past been, second to no paper in the 
San Joaquin Valley, as a local newsy sheet. And well did he 
redeem his promise. 

The new proprietor found the Express quite remunerative, 
and its numerous patrons looked impatiently for the issuing of 
each number, as they soon realized it to be an indispensable 
weekly visitor. 

Mr. Farrar for some months continued the business alone, but 

finding his labors too disposed of a half interest in the 
business to Mr. W. P. Stoneroad, a young gentleman well and 
favorably known in this county. On the twenty-seventh day of 
November, 1875, the first issue appeared under the new firm name 
and style of Farrar & Stoneroad, Mr. Farrar continuing the 
editorial department, and Mr. Stoneroad attending to the gene- 
ral business of the paper. 

As time passes off we find many changes, and among others, 
we find on record another change in the ownership of the 
Express. On March 3, 1877, we find issued the sixth number 
of Volume Third of the Merced Express, under the proprietor- 
ship of W. P. Stoneroad & Company, Mr. N. B. Stoneroad 
Esq., one of the pioneers of Merced County, and a brother of W. 
P. Stoneroad, having purchased the interest of Mr. Farrar in 
the Express. In retiring from the editorship of the paper, Mr. 
Farrar left a position which he had successfully filled for more 
than two years, with the best wishes of his former partner, a 
host of friends, all of whom extended him their lasting gratitude 
for the manner in which he had filled the position. 

Under the new firm, J. W. Robertson Esq., occupied the edi- 
torial chair until the paper once more changed hand.-, this time 
Mr. N. B. Stoneroad, the junior member of the firm, disposing 
of his interest to Mr. W. L. Howell, a gentleman long and 
favorably known in San Joaquin County as a tine printer, and 
an exemplary citizen. 

The first number of the Express, under the new firm, ap- 
peared in entire new dress, a favorable change in the " make 
up," and in a much improved condition throughout. The 
Express since its birth and through the many changes it has 
undergone, in politics has been uncompromisingly Democratic. 
Its local department has impartially presented the local news 
of the county. The editorial page always presents able and 
interesting editorials. And the paper, from its first appearance 
to the present time, through the many changes it has under- 
gone, has been and is now all that could be desired of a local 
weekly paper. It has a large circulation, is prospering, and 
bids fair to live to a good old age, under the supervision of its 
present able proprietors, Messrs. Stoneroad & Howell. 


The first number of tho Mercid Star was issued June 17, 
1880, and is still published by Harris Brothers. It has aimed 
to promote the progress and welfare of the county and of the 
great San Juaquin Valley. In politics the Star is Republican, 
and in general principles upholds that party, but shields no 
one who proves false to public pledges. Messrs. Thomas and 
Charles Harris, the publishers and proprietors, are both prac- 
tical printers. The Star is neat in typographical appearance, 
and has a good circulation. It is a seven-column paper, and is 
as bright as the name it bears, and gives promise of a long and 
hucccsst'ul career. 


^^^I^^^^U^MERCED CO. CAL, 



The Great San Joaquin Valley. 

«. Extent, Population, Productiveness, Re- 
sources, and Water Supply. 

The San Joaqum valley may be said to possess no picturesque 
scenery. Like the prairies of the West, it is a vast undu lating 
pTain or dead level, with an occasional tree, or park of oaks, to 

-^rrlor^rtion is nearly al, adapted. 

To t^ 2r "o diversify the general monotony of the 
, Little timber occurs even along water-courses, and ; 

ble extent. enfcs a more arid SU r- 

Th e southern portion of the vauey p ive 

face and sterile soil, broken up *^"£^ hills and 
„, alkaline deserts, and W-J^ tat „. 

I ■ The river bottoms are exti emery 

mountains, the river _ k extenslTe 

tigu ous to the San Joaquin nver and T„ ^ 

s^mps exist, that require -— ^ an , V San 

adapted to tilth, when **£££- near ly centrally 

Joaquin river meanders its tortuo and fvo m the 

t hronghover one-half the e^ ^ * y he 

— Sr"^^ g -gorigmtoon,ya f ew 

small winter streams. 

mountain lands, much of which is covered by a fine growth of 
timber, and one million acres are swamp and overflowed, but 
generally susceptible of reclamation. 

The San Joaquin valley proper embraces less than one-halt 
of this territory, the other portions being hilly and mountainous, 

ainousdi H tvicts there are occasional valleys susccptibleo cultiva- 
tion, while the hill-sides and table-lands of the f oot-h.U regions 
arepeculiarlywell adapted to horticulture, the finest friut m the 
town world being produced in the greatest profu.on a ng 
the western slope of tbe Sierras, many varieUes bemg W 
an altitude of three thousand feet above the level of the sea. 



■ = the immense basin 
This vast region of country comm-e ^^ ^ 
drained by the San Joaquin rrver an ^ ^^ 

vater-shed reaches from the **** Coast Range on the 

mountains on the east to the sum* n ^ ^ q£ thc 

..est and south, and to the divid sepa i ^ ^ ^ 
tributaries of the San Joaqum ^ aB ,, whose greates 
on the north. Its ^ ! nth s about two hundred and 
len gth running from north to sou h J ^ ^ ^ 

fifty miles, and greatest width ho ^ ^ twenty . nv e 

hundred and fifty miles, with . ^ of tte amount 

thousand square miles, or sateen ^ U* tQ ^ ta on 

it is estimated that ten nulhon acres 

™i« Tip cultivation or tne sou »i"° j 
' lv vet tore are numerous opportunities for the estab- 
industry, yet mere aiu community 

lishment of such others as are requned to 
truly independent and self-sustaining. 

This valley is destined to eventually becom one of 
prosperous and favored regions on the conUne *£ - 

La, favorable dto *' ^^1^ attract the attention of 
asri cultural resources, mUiec^iy ^ fo ^ 

the immigrant and capitalist and y 
itela tent wealth. «£,££££ that might be 
commenced. Immense tiacts 0ve inary crops of wheat, 
i reclaimed and made to produce ^ T ^ ^ 
, which could be devoted to the cult ^ 

products, are as yet unimproved. Tto»» h 
Ll remain uncultivated, a though c abl^ ^ ^ ^ ^ 
returns for the labor expended ^ upon ^ ^ ^ 

much larger population, and 1 Mamfact orie S 

ma rket can be overstocked fo years to ^ ^^ 

t0 goto waste; canal ^ heaper trausporUtion ; mines 
ra ilroads constructed to furnish ^ ^ 

and quarries are to be opened ^ J^ ;naugurated in 
feed available, and numerous^ new ^ ^^ be 

order that the resources of th va ^^ fey 

£ully aeveloped. ^-^ in Unts of this valley 
ma n can be here F™*"*- a acoe ss to the principal 

wiU have all the ^vauUg- of a r y ^ ^ ^ 

^irC-of necessary supple 

and pastoral purposes 

that five million acres ar 

L . e mineral and 


T uin valley basin at this 
The total population of theto «* ^^ and the 
time does not exceed one hundi ^ ^ ^ „, 

statistics published show that P 

3 60 


very remarkable. Taking the wheat product as one example, 
an.l it is proven that in 18S0 there were one hundred bushels 
of wheat raised for every inhabitant of the whole basin, includ- 
ing the mountain counties as well as the agricultural counties. 
If the estimate were made for the valley counties alone the 
amount per capita would be very much greater. When to this 
Ls added the products of wool, barley, wine, fruits, bullion, etc., 
it will be seen that the value per capita of the annual products 
of this region of country is probably greater than that of any 
other portion of the known world. While this is accomplished 
by the present population, there is ample room for three times the 
number, and an opportunity for all to do equally well. 


This valley offers superior inducements to those persons who 
are desirous of engaging in agricultural pursuits, and it is doubt- 
ful whether there is another locality on the continent where 
thorough and systematic farming is more profitable. Notwith- 
standing the occasional droughts which have been disastrous to 
the careless, unsystematic farmer, repeated experiments have 
demonstrated the fact that with thorough tillage and summer- 
fallowing, crops can be raised in the driest seasons. The time 
is coming, however, when the farmer of this valley will have 
little cause to fear seasons of drought. A complete system of 
irrigation will be adopted, and canals constructed to lead the 
water of the numerous streams over the land to furnish the 
requisite moisture to secure the growth of crops in the driest 
season. This object will be effected in some portions of the 
valley by artesian wells. A number have been bored, and 
flowing water obtained at depths ranging from one hundred 
and twenty-five to two hundred feet, and the cost of the well, 
including piping, does not exceed two dollars per foot. Some 
of these wells furnish sufficient water to irrigate one hundred 
and sixty acres of land, and by this means it is made capable 
*of -^rowing a great variety of products, and two crops can 
often be raised the same year. When the land is sown to 
alfalfa three, and sometimes as many as five crops are cut — 
this depending upon the strength of the soil. 

In no part of the United States can a settler secure for him- 
self as pleasant a home in so short a time. Fruit trees grown from 
the cutting will produce fruit in less than one half the time 
required in the Eastern States. The growth of ornamental 
trees and shrubbery is equally rapid, and where there are facil- 
ities for irrigation, it is possible for the settler to surround his 
home with a growth of choice trees and shrubbery in a very 
few years. 

The prices of land are lower in this valley than in any other 
portion of the State within the same distance of a market and 
possessed of similar facilities for transportation. 

That portion of the great interior basin of California, which 
has received the designation of the San Joaquin valley — 

including Tulare and Kern valleys-lies between the Sierra 
Nevada and Coast Range mountains, which, coming together 
as the Tejon and Tehatchape mountains, about the thirty- 
fifth degree of north latitude, form its southernmost limit. 
The general direction of this valley is nearly parallel with the 
trend of the coast, north-west and south-east-f.ora which its 
central axis is from seventy-five to one hundred miles distant. 
Its greatest length is two hundred and sixty miles, and in width 
it varies from thirty to seventy miles. Its total area is eleven 
thousand two hundred and ninety square miles. 


The valley consists of two plains of unequal width, extend- 
ing from the foot-hills of the mountains, and meeting in a 
trough, not midway, but considerably west of the center line of 
the great depression. This trough , running from one end of the 
valley to the other, has a general inclination in a north-westerly 
direction towards the outlet for all drainage waters of the great 
basin, Suisun Bay. Its slope is not uniform, but flattens out at 
intervals where lakes and marshes exist, as the streams flowing 
in on either side have banked up the silt and detritus, washed 
from the mountains, at special points for ages past. In this 
manner, Kern river, sweeping down enormous volumes of 
decomposed granite, has spread out a broad barrier across the 
valley, inclosing a basin above it for the reception of the 
waters forming Kern and Buena Vista lakes, at the southern 
extremity of the trough; and Kings river, carrying its load of 
sand and silt to the lowest part of the valley, has raised a dam 
across the depression, and completed the shallow basin, where 
now exists Tulare lake, one of the greatest sheets of fresh 
water in California. 


It is probable that this trough once held the bed of a contin- 
uous stream from Kern river, extending throughout the length 
of the valley, and receiving the tributaries flowing in on either 
hand. As it is, the depression serves as the drainage-way for all 
the valley, however impeded may be its course. From Kern 
and Buena Vista lakes, which occupy the same level in the lowest 
depression of the southern end, and are at an elevation of about 
two hundred and ninety-three feet above low tide, it slopes at 
the rate of abouttwo feet per mile for forty-two miles, to Tulare 
lake, whose elevation is one hundred and ninety-eight to two 
hundred and ten feet, according to the stage of its waters. 
Thence to the mouth of Fresno slough, at the great bend of the 
San Joaquin, fifty-five miles from the lake, the slope is eighty- 
six hundredths feet per mile. 

The total fall from this point to the mouth of the San Joa- 
quin river, a distance of one hundred and twenty miles, is one 
hundred and sixty-five feet. 




From the report of Gen. M. G. Vallejo to the State Sen- 
ate, in 1852, on the "Origin of the Names of Counties in this 
State," we find the following: — 

"San JOAQUIN. — The meaning of this name has a very 
ancient origin in reference to the parentage of Mary, the mother 
of Christ. According to divine revelations, Joachim signifies 
"preparation of the Lord," and hence the belief that Joaquin, 
who in the course of time was admitted into the pale of sanc- 
tity, was the father of Mary. In 1813, commanding an explor- 
ing expedition to the valley of the rushes (yalle de lo% tula/rea), 
Lieutenant Gabriel Moraga gave the appellation of San Joa- 
quin to a rivulet which springs from the Sierra Nevada, 
and empties into Lake Buena Vista. The river San Joaquin 
derives its name from the rivulet, and baptizes the county with 
the same. Stockton (named in honor of Commodore Stock- 
ton) is a highly flourishing town, and the seat of justice in the 
county. It contains about two thousand five hundred inhab- 
itants. Pleasantly situated on a slough of the San Joaquin 
river, on a plain, thinly overspread with oak and shrubbery, 
and within a day or two from some of the rich " placers," it is 
destined to become the city of San Joaquin, notwithstanding 
the absolute lack of poetry in its name." 


The following are the principal streams entering the San 
Joaquin valley as above described, on the east side, named ; 
their order from north to south, 
drained by each. 

with the area of watershed 

Drainage Area. 

589 square miles. 

208 square miles. 

eek _. ^ ., „ 

573 square miles- 


Cosumnes river 

Dry cr 

Mdkel/u/nvne river . . ■ 

Calaveras river 

Stcmislaus river 

Tuolumne river 

Merced river 

Bear creek 

Mariposa creek 

Chowchilla creek 

Fresno creek 

Sa/n Joaquin river . . 

Kings river 

Kaweah river 

Title river 

Deer creek 

White river 

Posa creek 

Kern river 

Caliente creek 

Sundry small streams 

390 square miles. 

971 square miles. 

1,514 square miles. 

1,072 square miles. 

153 square miles- 

96 square miles. 

303 square miles. 

258 square miles. 

.1,630 square miles. 

.1,853 square miles. 

COS square miles. 

44(3 square miles. 

130 square miles. 

96 square miles. 

278 square miles. 

2,382 square miles. 

461 square miles. 

2 13S square miles. 

The names of streams designated in italics are perennial in 
their flow. The lofty mountains in which they rise store away 
the precipitation of the annual rainy season in the form of 
snow, which melts slowly throughout the summer and never 
wholly disappears, giving down a steady anil unfailing supply, 
its greatest volumes guaged to that season when most required 
for watering the thirsty plains below, namely in the late spring 
and early summer months. The others are intermittent in 
flow, and do not furnish a continuous supply for purposes of 


The streams on the western side of the basin, discharging 
from the Coast Range, are all of the most intermittent charac- 
ter. The mountain sides are steep and almost devoid of forests, 
which might hold back the waters of precipitation. The land 
is consequently rapidly drained, and the streams are in flood 
tor but a short period after each rain. They descend upon the 
plains in channels, which in most instances are lost before 
reaching the central trough, the waters of many of them spread- 
ing at will over the high, sloping valley lands adjacent to the 
mountains, and seldom reach the river. As sources of supply 
for irrigation they are therefore unreliable, and at best availa- 
ble for but a limited area in the vicinity of their several points 
of entrance upon the valley. 

Following this, the principal creeks on the west side of the 
valley are named in their order going southward:— 

„ . ,. Drainage area. 


Marsh's creek 82 square miles. 

Corral Hollow creek 69 s ^ are ■»*» 

Hospitalcreek 46 s 1 uare mi es ' 

Arroyo de los Picdras } 5 «1™ "^ 

Arroyo del Puerta 78 square miles. 

_ f. , „ M .i_ 124 square miles. 

Orestimba creek "1 

k 39 square miles. 

41 square miles. 

, 31 square miles. 

Romero creek - n 

_ . i 74 square miles. 

San Luis creek ' * 

„ , Ho square miles. 

Los Baiios creek x i 

,., , 78 square miles. 

Sauce hto creek , ,- -i 

t, i «. nB ir ■ ] 47 square miles. 

Litte Panoche creek J ' i 

, ,. . 285 squnre miles. 

Big Panoche creek 

Cantua Canon creek 

Los Gatos creek 

Sundry small streams • 

Total area of mountain and hill 

xuiai « g jgg square miles. 

dra mage from the west *»*«- °4 

Las Garzas en 
Quinto creek. 

130 square milt 
480 square miles. 
1,628 square miles. 

Total an-a of mountai 

n and hill drainage 10.149 square 



comesfrom the Sierra Nevada mount- 
:,., I flows into the valley within a bed much 


ains in a canon. 

dressed below the rolling lands by which it is flanked. 

tl I respects it differs from the Kings and other rivers south of 



it; and although those to the north emulate it in its retire- 
ment below the general level of the plains, yet it surpasses 
them all, and is probably the most difficult of the irriga- 
tion streams to draw from for the watering of the high plains 
which must depend upon its floods. For sixteen to eighteen 
miles below its canon proper, the waters of this river are sev- 
enty-five to two hundred feet below the level of the rolling 
lands which border it; and bluffs standing almost perpendic- 
ular at points along its course, guard the approaches. Thus, 
until quite lately, there has been no effort made to construct 
canals out from it in this upper portion of its course— for the 
undertaking is an expensive one— and the high plains have 
remained dry and uncultivated. 

The San Joaquin, drains a larger extent of country, wherein 
the traffic is of a character which demands cheap water trans- 
portation, yet the river itself is of small volume (as compared 
to the Sacramento), and its channel presents many serious 
obstructions and inconveniences to the movement of boats. 
While this deficiency in navigation facilities is an ever present 
inconvenience, and a serious drawback to the "welfare of the 
valley, inundations occur but seldom. 

The following table shows the mean monthly discharge in 
cubic feet per second of the San Joaquin river and the streams 
which are directly tributary to it in its upper course, for each 
month of the year ending with October, 1S79: — 


Months and Teabs. 

San Joaquin 


San Joaquin 
below the 
Merced — 

November, 187S 


" 272 
























January, 1S79 


February, 1879 

March, 1879 


April 1879 


May, 1879 


June 1879 


July, 1879 


August, 1879 


September, 1S79 

October, 1879 


Total for a year 





A large accession of waters must be received from the sands 
of the river bed and banks, to preserve a navigable depth to 
this river, if the plains dependent upon it are ever to be irri- 
gated, even upon the basis of the largest duty of water to be 
expected; for at its best in 1879 the stream was only navigable 
a short distance above the Merced, and then for only a short 

No doubt if the whole channel were improved, a very good 

navigable depth could be maintained with five thousand cubic 
feet of water per second, but in its present condition it will 
take twice that volume. 


When the stranger travels over the hot and dusty plains of 
the great San Joaquin valley, he is very apt to put the ques- 
tion to himself: What is this country good for? The valley 
is seen to better advantage when a wheat harvest has matured. 
Yet there are probably a million acres on which no crops are 
matured. There are great spaces wind-swept and barren, yet 
capable of producing crops if sufficient water can be had. Now 
and then one comes upon a homestead, a little oasis in the des- 
ert. Everything is fresh and bright. The owner has either 
constructed an artesian w^ll, or has secured water from some 
irrigating ditch. All the days are sunny. The solar heat is 
great, but in the shade it is cool enough. The long sunny days 
evaporate an immense amount of moisture, and the norther 
crreatly hastens the evaporation. But with sufficient water, 
nearly every acre of the San Joaquin valley can be made 


The problem of irrigation in this great valley is not yet 
clearly solved. . There are irrigated farms which are wonder- 
fully productive. There are twenty-acre homesteads covered 
with vineyards and orchards. But these are exceptional places. 
The great plains are not irrigated. The systems of irrigation 
which prevail are local. They belong to neighborhoods. No 
broad and comprehensive system has been established — an 
immense crop of lawsuits is sure to spring up. In one instance 
a land-owner has brought sixty suits against persons who have 
infringed upon his rights, and this is probably not a solitary 
instance. Water rights have been sold to go with land which 
convey more than four times the entire quantity running in the 
streams. The Merced, Fresno and Kings rivers are sending 
down immense volumes of water into the thirst}' plains. A 
great deal of this water is wasted, and a great deal sinks before 
it reaches the San Joaquin river. Enough water comes 
down from the western slope of the Sierra to irrigate the en tire 
valley. Yet, under the haphazard methods of using water, it 
is doubtful if one-fourth of this area will ever be artificially 
watered. The snow belt which is tributary to the San Joa- 
quin river and its affluents, is more than three hundred miles 
long by about seventy-five miles wide. ' In some places in win- 
ter the snow in canons is fifty feet deep, in others from five to 
ten feet. There are patches of open ground where the sun has 
full play. If there were no trees on the western slope of the 
Sierra, this great body of snow would go down to the plains 
early in the season, creating destructive Moods, followed by the 
most desolating aridity. 




If the Sierra were not clothed with immense forests, nearly 
the whole valley of the San Joaquin would be worthless. The 
forests hold back the melting snow. It dissolves gradually. 
The San Joaquin in many places overflows its banks ; some of 
the tributaries are in the same condition, especially the Merced 
and the Kings River. By means of the great firs and pines, 
the snow lasts all summer. The western slope of the Sierra is 
the great reservoir of California. Not only does it supply all 
the mines on this slope, but it makes the cultivation of all 
the dry places possible, if ever a system of irrigation can be 
devised which is not too costly. It is evident that the present 
method of usmg water is attended with great waste. Thus, 
the Fresno River, which heads far back in the Sierra, is carry- 
in,, an immense body of water down towards the plain,. 
Twenty miles this side of Fresno City, that stream is nearly dry. 
There is first a V flume with its initial about fifty-two miles 
back in the mountains. It brings down from fifty thousand 
„ seventy-five thousand feet of lumber daily to Madera, a 
1L on' the rai.road. But the water which ^ 
her does not appear to be utilized to any extent attei it 
charged at the end of the flume. 


The remainder of the water in the Fresno River is taken out 
inking -h, and conducted to one or two ^ * 
tlements, and to a few farms in the vicinity oi Mta » 7 
With these two appropriations, there is n wate* £ t 

purpose, ™^^^£?££j supplies to 
is irrigated. Moreover the tog£*£ ^ ^ ^ ^ 
Fresno County as much water for irng . half rf 

BH-. Yet with both these^pplies, no t^ng hke^ ^ ^ 
the tillable land is watered .J^ by appropria tions 

either stream which has not been 
recited in deeds and contracts. 


to proceed in this way, 
Now, if waste and *****% £^> valley can ever be 
it is evident that not one-fourth ot g ^ rf ^. 

irri g ated,and it is further evident "^ Aside from the 
suits will spring out of these ^*™ the mo st favora- 
question of the cost of irrigating farms under _ ^ ^^ 

ating water is so wasteful that they never can be irrigated, save 
in patches here and there. 


It will be many years before the western slope of the Sierra 
is stripped of its trees, because these resources are so vast, and 
the cost of getting the timber to market is too great at present. 
The few saw-mills do not make much impression as yet upon 
the forests. Probably the sheep-herders destroy more timber 
every year than the saw-mills. After the pastures dry up in 
the lower foot-hills, the sheep are driven into the mountains 
where there is fresh herbage all summer. Besides the natural 
arass in many small meadows, the sheep browse upon the young 
leaves of many shrubs and so are kept in excellent condition. 

The forest is of no consequence to the sheep-herder, except 
as it affords sustenance for his flocks. At night he has no cor- 
ral Wolves, panthers and bears abound, every one of them 
ready to pounce upon a stray sheep or lamb. In the place of the 
corral, a number of fires are set, in fallen timber or living trees, 
a points which will hem in his flocks for the night to such an 
I xLt that wild beasts are kept off. These fires are left burn- 
L after the sheep-herder departs. They burn for days, som. 
Z. covering large area, One can hear the great pine a 

in the Mariposa group wb eh d„. ^ ^ 

^— ^tr^h^T^ 
tion has furnished any adequate remedy. 

question of the cost or 11^—= ins uns etueu. ou,- • u to conal aer xue ™~~ r- 

ble circumstances, the greater qu^n sU ^ ^ This lead* - ^ ^ ^ ^ Mel , ed Count y. 
„ «.„ m -eat reservoirs of the o flnm . pri- I ation, foi «»= 


■ .- , -belt is from twenty to forty miles in width, and 
This timber belt is conb idered of enormous size 

ffian y of the pine tre* £» Mbe eo id _ ^ ^ 

were it not that the *>££ ^ e ^ and from two to 
pine trees from six to ^ ^^ ^ „ 

thl ' eehUn ttln— isinthesummerseasonmostdehght- 
01 *~, "til- y £«orable to persons subject to pulmonary 
M, and P-^^ o is always clear and bracing, and 

complaints. ^« Wlth improved means of commu- 
ter uncomfortably ^^ & popular sum . 

m cation,this "^f^y^^ of the valleys and 
- T^s hSor -alidsfrom al, parts of the United 
seaport towu=, 

StateS ' , naturally to consider the various plans in oper- 
This leads us natuiaiiy ^ _ ^ ^ ^^ 

Here are the great reservoirs o tein rf appvopri 

enough to irrigate alUne plains. Yet 


Irrigation in Merced County 

First irrigating Canal; King's River Canal 
Farmers' Canal Company: Cost 01 
Construction, Mode of 
Irrigation; Re- 
sults, etc. 


ONE of the great fountain heads of irrigation to bring 
fertility to the San Joaquin plains, is the Merced River. 
This stream like the San Joaquin, Kings and Kern Rivers, 
and others to the north, also peaks among the high, snow- 
capped peaks of the mountains, behind the outstanding 
spurs and ridges, such as are drained by the creeks last 
mentioned. Its waters from the highest sources, find a pas- 
saae through the Yo Semite Valley, and thence to the plains 
along deep and rocky canons. In its course down the plain 
towards the trough of the valley, a distance of thirty-six miles 
in a straight line, the Merced River is a very tortuous and at 
points contracted stream, evidently deficient in capacity. It 
is flanked throughout by a low bottom-land formation, depressed 
forty to eighty feet below the general level of the adjacent 
plains, and at times of flood it naturally spreads from its main 
channels, making short passages through side channels of more 
direct alignment and greater grade. 


These bottom-lands are naturally well watered ; but to pre- 
vent uncontrolled flooding, they have been protected by small 
embankments at particularly low points along the river's course, 
and thus it has been found necessary to irrigate them. Eight 
miles below the canons the Merced bottoms reach their greatest 
■width— about three miles— thence they narrow down, within the 
next eight miles, to about one mile from bluff to bluff, and con- 
tinue to become still more contracted and less sharply defined as 
they approach the level of the plains, on nearing the trough of the 
great valley of the San Joaquin River. 

The irrigation along these bottoms is all conducted by small 
farm ditches. The acreage thus watered, according to infor- 
mation, is about 1,500 to 2,000 acres, cultivated chiefly in 
alfalfa, corn, field vegetables, garden produce, and fruits. 

From the Merced River one large canal and a number of small 
farm ditches have been constructed, irrigating, thus far, 1,500 
to 2,000 acres. 


This stream enters upon the east side plain of the San Joaquin 
Valley between the Merced and the Fresno Rivers. It drains 
only the lower mountains and foot-hills, and consequently has 
but an intermittent supply. The San Joaquin River on the 
south and the Merced River on the north flank, head behmd the 
drainage basins of these smaller streams, and secure the snow 
waters from the higher ranges of mountains; but for a few 
davs immediately after the heavy storms in winter, the Chow- 
chilla Mariposa, and Bear Creeks, present, large volumes of 
water which course across the plains in numerous small chan- 
nels becoming absorbed into the dry soil, or lost in the swamps 
alone the San Joaquin River, in the trough of the valley below. 
As yet there has been but little irrigation from these sources. 
The uncertainty as to time and volume of presentation of the 
water is such, that the investment of capital or labor in works 
for its diversions and use, becomes extra hazardous, and the 
liability to conflicts of interests between appropriates is in- 


Artificial irrigation has been practiced in Los Angeles and 
San Bernardino Counties ever since the earliest settlement of 
the country, more than one hundred years ago, by the Jesuit 
Fathers. These pioneers of Californian civilization selected the 
sites for their missions with sagacity and good judgment, locat- 
ing them in places where water was most abundant and 
where irrigation could be most readily carried on. There are 
evidences to show that they carried out an extensive and well- 
planned system of irrigation works. The traces of their ditches, 
stone aqueducts, and dams, whose masonry, where undisturbed, 
remains as perfect as when it was laid, are frequently met with, 
but they are now generally superseded by more recent works. 
It is natural that, where irrigation has been so long in use, 
where the water supply, as compared with the large area of 
cultivable land, is so limited, and where the character of the 
products raised by irrigation are generally so valuable, one 
should expect to find the art of irrigation brought to a high 
degree of perfection, and the economical use and conservation 
of waters carried to its furthest extent. This is, however, 
only true in a measure. 


The distribution of the water supply in many comparatively 
small bodies, frequently having its source upon lands owned in 
large tracts under Spanish grants, or attached thereto by old 
riparian rights, and the monopolizing of the waters by individ- 
uals through these means, and by prior appropriations of con- 
siderably greater supplies of water than were absolutely needed 



by them, and, in short, the complicated system of water rights, 
involving absolute ownership of water, which have arisen in 
an absence of adequate laws providing for the equable distri- 
bution of that precious element, has tended to a careless prodi- 
gality in its use by those who happen to be possessed of an ! 
abundant supply, and the entire deprivation of water privileges 
by those less fortunately situated. It is chiefly in those local- 
ities and communities where the supply is least, and where 
every means must be taken to eke out the little that is avail- 
able that the highest duty of water is attained and the utmost 
economy and skill is to be observed. Nevertheless, there is 
much that is instructive and interesting in the methods of irri- 
gation practiced in this section, and, generally speaking, it is 
doubtless true that irrigation is here further advanced and more 
thoroughly developed than in other parts of the State. 

In traveling from one community to another, in two counties 
adjoining, it was remarkable to observe how little each appeared 
to know of the extent of irrigation, or the systems, peculiar- 
ities, and local regulations prevailing in adjacent localities. 
Each community had developed a system peculiar to itself, and 
appeared neither to know nor care of what was going on 
around them in the same line of pursuit. 


In our illustrations will be found a bird's eye view of « Poso 
Farm " the property of Miller & Lux, and a section of the San 
Joaquin and Kings River Canal and Canal Company Farm, 
which gives some idea of the level, treeless plain and the man- 
ner in which the water is distributed. 

The canal heads at the junction of Fresno Slough, the over- 
flow outlet of Kings River and Tulare Lake into the San Joa- 
quin River. Adam of brush and framework thrown across the 
river lust below the mouth of the slough diverts water into the 
canal upon the west side of the valley. At the time of it. con- 
struction, in 1871, it was the most important irrigation works 
that had been attempted in California, and it still ranks among 
the leading constructions of its class. Its total length, to he 

potato at 0««^b.Or*ii«^^2 
greater than that of any other irrigation canal in th Stat. 

It commands an area of about 283,000 acres whicl m dud* 
all the lands lying between it and the nver, about 130 00 
which is low and naturally subject to overflow m — 
ordinary high flood. Its capacity upon the upper p arf» * 
14- rn<\ nnliie feet per second. Dunng me 
its course is now about G0J cubic lee* P 
year 1879 the area irrigated was about 30 000 acres, 
greater portion of which was devoted to cereals. 


F „r tllil ,y- fi ve miles h-» the head of «- * * fe ^ 
several of ternary below the canal ,s 

adobe, underlaid with a subsoil of hard-pan differing from the 
hard-pan on the opposite side of the river, in that it consists of 
yellow marl, and is not wholly impervious to water. This 
character of soil is difficult to irrigate properly, as it absorbs 
very little water, quickly dries out, hakes upon the surface, 
and requires frequent applications to produce crops. It must 
be carefully drained at the same time, and, indeed, it demands 
the utmost skill and watchfulness to avoid the many dangers 
attending the indiscriminate use of water. 


Along the river between Firebaugh's and Hill's Ferry, there 
are large areas of sandy loam well adapted to irrigation. Below 
Los Banos Creek the character of the soil is suddenly changed 
to a deep loam, compact, but well adapted to irrigation, and 
much more tractable as well as more fertile than the alkaline 
adobe soil further up the valley. Irrigation is progressing rap- 
idly upon this latter class of soils, which have, however, enjoyed 
its privileges but one season since the extension of the canal 
from its former terminus at Los Banos, to Orestimba. The 
farmers are rapidly availing themselves of the advantages 
bestowed by irrigation, and during the past fall that section 
has been one of busy activity in the preparation of new land 
for this class of cultivation. 


The San Joaquin and Kings River Canal was the first canal 
for irrigation, of any considerable magnitude, constructed in 
California, in which capital was engaged as a speculative 
investment, and its example has proved far from encouragmg 
t0 other ventures of that character, as the revenues derived 
have never yielded an adequate return for its enormous cost 

T Ms canal, which takes its water through the left bank of 
the San Joaquin River, at the junction of that stream with 
H SlouJ (tne overflow outlet of Tulare Lake) and passes 
L the West-side Valley for a distance of sixty-seven miles 
^2 well known in California, at least, to require more than 
a general account of its history. 


• 1g7 , and extended to its present terminus in 18,7- 8. 
Italostd the canal.includingrepairs, alterations and.mprove- 
total cost m was expended 

men*,* given ^ W • Los Baflos &eek to iu ter . 

^T^'oC Hi of the can. .as originally made 
minus. The oiq & h o( four feetj 

.vith abottom width of twenty g 

with siJe slopeS o* one or £** £ ^ rf ^ ^ 
having been consider^ t osteep ^ ^ ^ _ 

canal was reconstructed, deepene ^ ^ 



In building the extension from Los Bafios to Orestimba Creek, 
twenty-eight and one-half miles, this grade was decreased to sue 
inches per mile, and the bed of the canal was raised one foot 
higher than that of the older channel. With the experience 
acquired, it has been a matter of regret with the canal com- 
pany that the first section of the canal was not given a lighter 
grade, enabling it to be placed nearer the foot-hills, and bung- 
ing under its command a larger area of excellent arable land, 
now above its reach. The velocity of the current is too great 
for the aafety of the banks, and might have been much reduced 
without danger of troublesome deposits of silt, of which the 
river ordinarily carries but little. 


The head-works of the canal consist of a regulating bridge, 
with forty feet clear width of opening, a dam or sluiceway 
fifty-five in width, between the head of the canal and an island 
in the river, and a brush dam about 350 feet in length, con- 
necting the island with the east or right bank of the river. 
The regulating bridge is a substantial structure founded on 
piles driven thirty to forty feet into the quicksand bed. The 
sluiceway on the west side of the island is arranged to permit 
the passage of steamers and barges, during the season when 
the river is navigable, the vessels being drawn up the steep 
incline of its apron by means of the capstan. In low water, 
when the supply is insufficient to fill the canal by the ordinary 
flow of the current, gates in the sluiceway are raised, increas- 
ing the elevation of the water surface several feet. These 
gales, which are hinged at the bottom to the floor of the sluice, 
lie fiat upon the floor during high water, and when raised are 
held in position by a hook and rod on the up-stream side. The 
whole arrangement is known as a "falling dam," and was mod- 
eled after the Indian system for similar structures. 


The distributing system consists of the following primary 
ditches: — 

From the tenth to the twenty-first mile, thirteen ditches, 
averaging about two miles in length, twelve feet wide on bot- 
tom, and two feet deep, supplying the Dos Palos Ranch. 

From the twenty-first to the thirty-ninth mile (Los Bafios 
Creek), eighteen ditches one-half mile to five miles long, eight 
to fifteen feet on bottom, supplying the Canal Farm and the 
Badger Flat Settlement. 

From the thirty-ninth to the forty-seventh mile (San Luis 
Creek), four ditches, one to two miles long, eight to ten feet wide. 
From the forty-seventh to fifty-fourth mile (Las Garzas 
Creek), four ditches, each one mile long. 

From fifty-fourth to sixtieth mile, ten ditches, one to four 
miles long, ten to twelve feet wide. 

From sixtieth to sixty-seventh mile (terminus at Orestimba 
Creek), eight ditches, from one to three miles long. 

Total fifty-seven ditches, having an aggregate length of one 
hundred and ten to one hundred and twenty miles. The sys- 
tem is being rapidly extended, as new land is brought under 


In addiuon to these ditches, which have been constructed by 
the individual land-owners, the canal company have con- 
structed a « loop" canal, seven miles long, parallel to the mam 
canal and opening into it at eaeh end, to facilitate the distribu- 
tion of water to the Dos Palos Ranch. This auxiliary is 
twenty feet wide on the bottom, three feet deep, witb side slopes 
of one on three. Its office is to permit water to be raised to 
the surface and diverted into the lateral ditches of the Dos 
Palos Ranch, without interfering with the flow, slope, and nor- 
mal velocity of water in the main canal. 


At intervals of three to five miles on the canal are placed 
regulating gates, or " stop-gates," as they are locally termed, to 
check the flow of water when desired,, and raise its elevation, in 
order to discharge freely through the outlet-gates into the 
lateral distributing ditches. On the first thirty-nine miles there 
are six of these structures, of which five are combined with 
drawbridges, to permit the passage of canal boats, and two are 
connected with waste sluices. On the canal extension there 
are eleven stop-gates, of which, eight are combined with wagon 
road bridges. The latter were not made in the form of draw- 
bridges, the necessity for that class of structures having ceased 
with the final abandonment of navigation upon the canal. 
Irrigation and navigation were found to be wholly incompati- 
ble, -without a system of locks to avoid the annoyance to the 
irrigators of opening the stop-gates for the passage of the canal 
boats, and tbe waste of water and time incident thereto. The 
new and simpler form of stop-gate and bridge costs but 81,000 
each, while the old form of drawbridge costs from 33,000 to 

35,000 each. 

ABide from these combined stop-gates and bridges, there are 
twelve plain wagon bridges on the canal. 

The old form of outlet gates to the distributing ditches con- 
sisted of a massive structure provided with a heavy gate of 
four-inch planks, raised with a screw, the floor being placed 
exactly flush with the bottom of the canal, and the water flow- 
ing under the gate with a pressure of several feet. They cost 
3500 each. The latter structures cost but $200 each, and are 
of a simpler pattern. They are usually made six feet wide, in 
two bays, and the floor is placed about two feet below the level 
of the bed of the channel, to better protect the wings and lower 
sheet piling from the erosive back-lash of the escaping water. 
Loose planks, three feet long, replace the ponderous gates of 
the old structures, and the water enters the lateral ditch in an 
overfall, the quantity admitted being controlled by taking out 
or putting in the boards as may be required. 




The character of the soil for the first thirty miles of the canal 
is an alkaline adobe, absorbing little water, but crumbling 
when dry and subject to constant erosion at the water's surface. 
Numerous expedients have been adopted to check this erosion 
and maintain the banks at their normal slope. Willows have 
been planted along the margin, the banks have been lined witli 
brush in the worst places, and the slopes have been sodded with 
salt grass, a plant which usually thrives on that kind of soil. 
The latter has proven most efficacious where it was induced to 
grow, but is expensive. Erosion is most disastrous on the con- 
vex side of the curves in the canal, showing that the wash is 
more duo to the sharpness of the curves and the velocity of 
the current tban to the effect of the winds which blow almost 
incessantly in that portion of the valley the greater part of 
the year and to which the erosion was considered attributable. 
The plan now adopted in maintaining the canal is to add 
material on the outside of the banks where they are weakened 
bv erosion, allowing the soil to assume whatever slope it may 
naturally take under the action of the water.and presuming that 
erosion will ultimately cease when this slope is finally acquired 
which is thought to be about six horizontal to one ^vertical 
L canal guards or section men are stationed at intervals ot 
alt ten nules, whose duties are to watch the banks over 
certain sections, and to maintain them in order. 


The lands irrigated by the San Joaquin and Kings Biver 

_,, to its terminus atOrestrmba ^J * J fom 
change in the quality, depth, and ^-» ^.^ 

the minimum o£ absorptoveness and the con J 

mu m 01 absorptrveuess and the are those 

necessary. The sons which reta.n — , 

w hich absorb most water and are - en ^ J ^ ^ 

for irrigation. In no irngated sec .or ol ^ ^ ^ 

extremes in quality of soil more ma* • ^ ^ ^ 

not extend the entire distance from to ca ^ ^ ^ 

exception of three or four miles along the canal where San Luis 
Creek spreads out upon the plains, the soil for the remaining 
distance to the terminus is a light brown argillaceous loam, 
with an occasional admixture of sand. It is thirty to forty feet 
in depth, compact, fertile, and highly retentive of moisture. 


The year may be properly divided into three irrigation 

periods : — 

The first period includes the months of October, November, 
December, and January. More than three-fourths of the area 
irrigated by the canal is devoted to cereals ; the period of greatest 
demand is therefore that in which these crops require watering. 
To guard against a dry season, those farmers who own lands 
which absorb the moat water and retain it longest begin soakmg 
their fields, prior to sowing grain, in October, continumg 
through the months of November, December, and January, in 
some cases postponing this first watering as late as February 
On the class of lands referred to, this irrigation is usually all 
that is required to mature a crop, as with the ground thoroughly 
soaked, a very slight rain-fall of two or three inches thereafter 
suffices to supply the surface with moisture until the young 
grain is high enough to shade the ground from the sun. Dur- 
ing this period also the shallow adobe soils at the upper end o 
the canal require their first watering, but as they atari, but a 
mail quantity of water the demand upon the total volume of 
Tate* in the canal is comparatively light from hat quarter, 
^ ex erience of the past season has taught the farmers that 
it" not Idpolicy to defer the first irrigation later than Janu- 
llas the water rates for fall irrigation pnor to Janu- 

not exx-euu u"^ ■-" — . , * 

seem to be principally limited to a s nptwo shallow _ from 
fromFirebaugh's to Los Banos .Creek. 7 ^ ^^ 

one to two feet deep-and und£a w ^ rf ^ 
East of this strip to the nve , the sol = faut not 

character, highly susceptive of V^ J land bei]lg 
heretofore provided with facto* ta«* ^ ^ of Lo3 
devoted exclusively to grasmg purpo^ ^ & ^ m . t 

adobe soils iequi Th j dnes 


- *-r d — -* °- half o£ the total 

laDdS ' ttttdly " waters. In this period a.falfa is irr, 
7Z to S and second times, and the general irr.gat.on of 

h completed. months £ June, July, August, 

Tb e third penod £*»» ^ pel , od to 

an d September. l ™^°" ien duce . Corn has 

alf alfa, corn, potatoes, » ^ ^ ^ this luon, asit does not 
not y et become an ^^ soi]shavenot had 

tta ive on the adobe oris, and * ^ it as a 

, riga tion facilities !ong » ^ ^ J ^ „„ past 
sta ndard product.^ B^ P^ rf ^ ^ wMoh attaoked 



the silk The preparation of corn land for plowing, by means 
of a thorough wetting, begins early in this period, or the latter 
part of the second, and the crop is given one or two waterings 


These facts appear to show that the season of greatest 
demand, heretofore in the second period, will shortly become 
extended more uniformly over both the first and second periods, 
during which the supply in the river is greatest, and that the 
season of least demand is during the third period. 


But one system is practiced in the application of water on 
the lands west of the San Joaquin River- that of flooding the 
surface with the aid of check levees, dividing the land into com- 
partments. The soil does not admit of the use of the seepage 
method, such as is practiced in the Mussel Slough country and 
other sandv localities, and the surface of the land is so uniform 
that the costlier method of flooding by small ditches, which is 
necessary on rolling ground, has no advantages, and indeed 
seems never to have been practiced here. 

The general slope of the land from the canal toward the river 
is from eight to twelve feet per mile, and is remarkable for its 
uniformity and smoothness. It could scarcely have been better 
prepared for irrigation than nature has prepared it. This is par- 
ticularly the case on the Dos Palos Ranch, below Firebaugh's 
where the smoothness of surface permitted the distributing 
ditches and check levees to be laid out with the most exact and 
systematic regularity. The primary ditches are run at an angle 
of about forty-five degrees from the direction of the canal, and 
are j ust half a mile apart. This ranch, of 5,000 acres, was first 
opened by the canal company as an experimental farm, to 
make a practical demonstration of the system of irrigation 
devised by the engineer in charge. This system involved a 
series of secondary ditches extending from the primaries on 
both sides, with numerous small boxes opening from them into 
smaller tertiary ditches or plow furrows, running diagonally 
across the land in two directions, dividing the ground into 
diamond-shaped plats 120x150 feet in size. 


: into those next below, the cost will be still further 

reduced, as it will save the labor of cutting a hole in the levee 
and closing it again at each irrigation. , 

In other parts of the valley irrigated by this canal the check 
leV ees are less regular in their alignment, as they follow the 
contour of the surface, which is generally not quite so smooth 
as upon the farm to which allusion has just been made, but 
they present no such winding lines as are necessary in some 
other portions of the State. The compartments inclosed by the 
levees generally contain from eight to twenty-five acres, seldom 
more They are, therefore, quickly filled and drained off again. 
This is a great desideratum, as it is the aim of the irrigators to 
keep the water constantly in motion, and perform the opera- 
tion of wetting the lands and draining them again as quickly 
as possible, except in the ca ? e of dry lands being wetted for the 
first time, when the compartments are filled to their utmost 
capacity, and the water is allowed to soak away. 

The experiment proved a disastrous failure, after the expen- 
diture of §50,000, and was abandoned. The secondary and ter- 
tiary ditches were removed, and between the primary ditches 
check levees were constructed on six-inch contour lines, vary- 
ing in horizontal distance with the slope of the ground, and an 
intermediate division levee was built midway between and par- 
allel with the ditches. By this method the cost per acre for 
labor at each irrigation was reduced to three cents, where it 
had formerly cost thirty-three cents, and it is thought that 
when gates are constructed in the levees to drain the compait- 


The average cost of preparing the ground with ditches and 
check levees is about §1-50 per acre, varying but a few cents 
either way from that figure. The check levees cost about 
twelve dollars per mile, and are thrown up with a "V" scraper. 
Three men and twenty-six animals will build a mile of levee 
in a day Their sides are generally too steep to be driven over 
with farming machinery, v. hich is an objection. Doubtless the 
extra cost of constructing the levees with broad base and flat 
side dopes would be amply compensated for by the increased 
facility attained in the harvesting of the crops. 


First example— The first irrigator under the canal, below 
Firebaugh's-a tenant on the lands of Miller & Lux-watered 
thirty acres in twelve hours with 13.5 cubic feet per second, 
and the labor of one man. This was at the first irrigation of 
the season; the second required a little less water. The dis- 
charge would suffice to cover the land to a deptb of 0.45 feet in 
the time specified, not all of which was absorbed. Soil, alka- 
line adobe, two feet deep, underlaid with impermeable yellow 
hard-pan. Barley required four irrigations during the season; 
wheat, five. Yield about twenty bushels per acre. Cost of 
labor, per irrigation, five cents per acre. 

Second example— Seven miles below Firebaugh's, on the Dos 
Palos Ranch, 500 acres can be irrigated in twelve hours 
with a discharge of about 1G5 cubic feet per second, running 
in three primary ditches, and with the labor of six men. 
The three ditches at that rate would irrigate 523 acres in 
twelve hours. The soil is similar to that of the first example. 
Barley was irrigated five times, wheat six times, and alfalfa 
seven times during' the season. Yield of wheat and barley, 



seventeen to twenty bushels per acre; average cost per acre per 
irrigation, for labor, three cents. 

Third example-On Miller & Lux's Canal Farm, thirty-three 
miles below the head of the canal, and twenty-five miles below 
Firebaugh's, wheat and barley require three irrigations, and 
alfalfa three to four. No data could be obtained as to water 
quantity used. The general soil characteristics are a black 
adobe, mixed with a little sand, and underlaid with yellow 
hard-pan, one foot below the surface; other parts of the farm 
are a sandy loam, and the gradations between the two form the 
bulk of the land. A force of seven experienced irrigators are 
kept constantly employed, and from April 1st to August 
1st, last season, this force accomplished the irrigation of what 
would be equivalent to 9,500 acres irrigated once; the averao-e 
cost per acre for labor at each irrigation being thirteen cents. 
This cost is much greater than it would be but for the gophers 
which infest the alfalfa 6 elds and burrow in the levees, weak- 
ening them to such an extent that they require a large force to 
keep them in repair while the water is being applied. 

Fourth example — An irrigator in the Badger Flat Settle- 
ment, near the head of the supply ditch running through that 
thrifty community, informed us that with a discharge, esti- 
mated at 15.5 cubic feet per second, he could irrigate 300 
acres in ten days. This discharge, for the period named, would 
be equivalent to a depth of 1.02 feet over the whole area. 
The soil is a deep, mellow sandy loam, and has been irrigated 
for several years. The wheat was all watered once, and a part 
of it twice. Corn was irrigated twice. The yield of wheat 
was about twenty-one and one-half bushels per acre. 

Fifth example — Another irrigator in the Badger Flat Settle- 
ment uses a head of about six cubic feet per second, with which 
he can irrigate 100 acres of alfalfa in eight days, the discharge 
being equivalent to an average depth of 0.95 feet over the whole 
area. The soil is a compact loam, six feet deep, underlaid with 
a stratum of black alkaline adobe hard-pan four feet thick. 
Beneath this hard-pan, permanent water is found having an 
alkaline taste. Alfalfa is irrigated three to five times a year, 
water being applied after each cutting. The average cost for 
labor per irrigation is ten cents per acre. 


On the canal extension, some 8,000 acres were irrigated in 
1879 for the first time, the crop being principally wheat. 
Irrigation was begun late in the season, the farmers, as usual. 
deferring preparations in the hope of avoiding the necessity for 
it. When the certainty of a dry season was pretty well estab- 
lished by the almost total lack of rain up to January 1 

everybody hastened to throw up 

levees and cut ditches, and 

began wetting their lands. Those who irrigated but once 
the second irrigation, where applied, having 

raised the best crop? 
the effect of producing 
of the grain. 

rust, lessening the yield and the 



The amount of land irrigated in 1S79 is stated to have 
been 30,000 acres. Prior to the last season the greatest amount 
irrigated was but little in excess of 20,000 acres; but it is 
expected that 50,000 acres will be watered by the canal the com- 
ing year. During the first seven months of 1879 the quantity 
of water diverted by the canal at its head was 7,799,016,060 
cubic feet. 


For five miles below the canal the water in the wells was 
raised from four to twenty feet, and even thirty feet in some 
instances. Several wells within a mile of the canal, whose 
normal water surface was thirty feet below the top, filled up 
while irrigation was in progress in the vicinity, so that for the 
time being water could be dipped out by hand. After a few 
weeks it receded to fifteen or twenty feet below the surface, 
but its elevation was permanently raised ten or fifteen feet. 
At the mouth of Orestimba Creek, five miles below the canal 
along the river, wells were filled four feet. 


But for irrigation, all crops on that portion of the west 
side commanded by the canal extension, where dry farming 
has heretofore been exclusively practiced, would have proved 
a disastrous failure. Above the canal the crops failed almost 
entirely, while below it the lands irrigated once yielded seven 
to eleven sacks per acre (fifteen to twenty-five bushels), and, 
with fall irrigation, the same lands are expected to yield much 
more. The farmers witnessing such results have had their 
former apathy turned to enthusiasm, and all within reach of 
the eanal are now vigorously preparing to reap the advan- 
tages which the opportunities for irrigating their lands afford. 
Heretofore farming in that section has been a cheerless and 
discouraging pursuit. It was impossible to have orchards, 
wardens, meadows, and other luxuries of that nature which 
make rural life agreeable, and rural homes cheerful and pleas- 
ant. A few farmers had, by means of windmills and pumps, 
contrived to create a green spot about their homes— a few 
trees, a small vegetable garden, and flowers; but the generality 
of the homes were devoid of those evidences of thrift and 
comfort. With the advent of a canal, and a constant supply 
of water for irrigation, the farmers are sowing meadows of 
alfalfa, planting trees and vines, and preparing to live. 


Water is sold on the San Joaquin and Kings River Canal 
exclusively by the acre irrigated. Following is the schedule 
of prices:— 



For cereals, during any part of the season from July 1st of 
one year to the same date of the following year, S2.o0per acie. 
For alfalfa, S3.00 per acre per year. 
For market gardens, 35.00 per acre per year. 
For wild grass lands, 75 cents per acre per year. 
For the irrigation of second crop of anything in the same 

season, §1.00 

For the fall irrigation of lands, from July 1st to January 
1st the charge for a single irrigation is $1.50 per acre. After 
January 1st any number of waterings necessary to mature 
crops of cereals is given for SI. 00. 


No restriction is placed upon the number of irrigations to 
be applied or the amount of water to be used, except the gen- 
eral one that the amount shall be the " requisite quantity 
without waste or excess." There is, therefore, no special incen- 
tive to economy in the use of water. Parties requiring water 
are obliged to give notice in writing, designating the land and 
the number of acres for which water is requested, signing an 
obligation to pay for the same. The company's employes 
alone are permitted to open and close the discharge gates. 

This method of selling water is doubtless less troublesome 
and less expensive to the canal company than that by meas- 
urement, but it must inevitably be a source of waste, and 
when the full area commanded by the canal shall have come 
under cultivation, there will arise a necessity for the adoption 
of every means of promoting economy in the use of water, one 
of which will be its sale by absolute quantity. 

The canal company have a scale of prices, also, for water 
for stock. These apply to those who herd cattle in the 
vicinity of the canal, or to drovers driving their herds 
through the country. For cattle the charge is S100 per year, 
or $4-0 per month for 1,000; for sheep and hogs, $50 per year, 
or $10 per month per 1,000. The charges for traveling droves 
are higher. 


Farmers whose lands are retentive of moisture have an 
advantage in being able to mature their crops with the single 
fall irrigation, which costs but SL50 per acre. I met one 
farmer in the Badger Flat Settlement, who manages to get 
several profitable crops from his land each season with the min- 
imum water bill. He commences to irrigate after July 1st, for 
corn, potatoes, melons, beans, etc., which produce a good fall 
crop with one watering. In the whiter he sows barley upon 
the same land, usually cutting it for hay, sometimes getting 
two crops from the same stand, all of which was matured by 
the moisture remaining in the soil from the fall irrigation, sup- 
plemented by whatever rain-fall there may have been. He thus 
obtains two or three crops a year with but one watering. 


The cost of producing a crop of barley on the alkaline adobe 
lands of the Dos Falos Ranch is given as follows:- 

Plowing, per acre 

Harrowing and seeding, per acre 

Seed, per acre 

Five irrigations (labor), per acre 

Five irrigations (water), per acre (special contract) 

Heading and stacking, contract price, per acre 

Threshing, at 10 cents per 100 lbs, say 

Sacks , 

SI 00 




1 25 

1 25 

. 1 40 

. 1 40 


S7 55 

The cost of a wheat crop is slightly in excess of this amount, 
in the items of seed and labor of irrigation. 

The cost of a wheat crop on land near Hill's Ferry, the first 
year of irrigation, was given as follows (yield fifteen centals 

per acre) : — 

Plowing and harrowing, per acre 

Seed, bluestone, and sowing, per acre 

Two irrigations (water), per acre 

Two irrigations (labor), per acre 

Heading and stacking, per acre 

Threshing (15 centals at 10 cents), per acre 

Sacks, per acre 

S 1 














9 75 
1 50 

Cost of delivering on river bank at Hill's Ferry .... 

Total cost delivered at market ■ S 11 25 

Value of crop at Hill's Ferry, $1.50 per cental 22 50 



Sll 25 

Miller & Lux have a number of tenants on their irrigated 
lands who farm them on the following terms: Where the land 
is prepared for irrigation before the tenant occupies it, he pays 
one-fifth to one-half of the crop as rent, according to what the 
owners furnish. If they furnish teams, groceries, feed, and 
seed, the owners take one-half the crop. If the tenant fur- 
nishes everything,, he pays one-fifth, the grain to be threshed 
and delivered. The tenant pays one-half the water bill, receiv- 
ing the benefit of a special contract made between Miller & 
Lux and the canal company before the canal was built, by 
which they pay but S1.25 per acre per annum for all water 

"Where the land is not prepared for irrigation, the owners 
furnish lumber at the nearest landing on the river for neces- 
sary buildings and for fencing ten acres of ground to be 
devoted to alfalfa. The tenant erects his own house and makes 
his ditches and check-levees. He pays no rent the first year. 




These two irrigating channels were opened by Miller & Lux, 
and draw water from the San Joaquin River on the west side. 
The channels were originally natural sloughs, breaking out from 
the river and traversing the Rancho Sanjon de Santa Rita, 
parallel to the river, and were simply deepened and improved 
for the purpose of affording water for the irrigation of wild 
grass lands on the rancho. The upper one heads about five 
miles below Firebaugh's, and is termed Posa Slough, or Dos 
Palos Canal. A substantial head-gate has been built at the 
river bank, having a clear opening of twenty-four feet, divided 
into four bays. It is fifteen feet in height from the floor of the 
structure to the floor of the road bridge over it. The structure 
is founded on piles driven into the hard-pan bed of the slough, is 
well protected with necessary wings, and is altogether one of 
the best constructed works of that kind in the country. The 
floor of the structure is 3.8 feet below the level of low water 
in the river, August 9th; and high water-mark, inside the 
.ates showed that the canal had not carried a greater depth of 
water than 5.8 feet over the floor. A quarter of a mile below 
the gate, the canal has a width of thirty feet on bottom and 
one hundred and thirty feet on top, and a depth of 9.5 feet 

Irrigation commences three and one-half miles below the 
head of the canal, the land being flooded, and the water con- 
trolled by means of rude and irregular check levees. 


other appliance for checking and diverting the current of the 
stream. The natural banks of the river at that point are firm 
and hard, resisting erosion, and showing no sign of having 
materially changed in many years. 

The Temple Canal can only draw water during the higher 


This canal is derived from the right bank of the San Joaquin 
River, at a point about two miles above the mouth of Fresno 
Slough and the head of the San Joaquin and Kings River Canal , 
and follows a general northerly course for thirty miles, termin- 
ating at the ChowchUla Slough, on the Chowchilla Ranch. It 
runs nearly parallel to the river, and five to eight miles distant 
from it. It was constructed in 1872, by Miller & Lux, owners 
of the Columbia Ranch, and W. S. Chapman, then owner ot 
the colossal property known as the Chowchilla Ranch, now 
owned by the Bank of Nevada, and was originally designed 
rather to furnish water for stock than for purposes of irriga- 
tion The canal, on its whole course of thirty miles, passes 
over no other lands than the two great ranches named, and as 
these are devoted exclusively to stock-raising, the irrigation 
from the canal is principally eon fi ned to the watermg of 
masses For the first two miles from the river the canal occu- 
rs the bed of an old slough, whence it is diverted mto an 
artificial channel thirty feet wide on the bottom. 


The Temple Slough, a few miles below Posa Slough has been 

Jated in a simUar manner. A substantial head-gate, having- a 
tieatea in as ^ b f 

clear width of opening of sixteen teet, aivi 

i t~ • -Lt- ~f nitip feet has been built at tne 

f0U, 'r rCflo "f t — 'is 0.3 feet ,*- the 
rrver bank. The floor o ^ ^ ^ 

level of low water, od the day or 

The canal helow the gate ha, a depth .«£» ^ 

width of seventeen f^a* * ™ 2Z^J^ »™ 

High water-mark, <*»»**»* &1 , gation beg ins about 

carried a maximum depth of 3 3 teet. g 

three-fourths of a mile below the head of the canah 

uext the river is higher than «^Z - —- 

channels have a great depth near the uver y 

atively shallow where water is Averted om ^ 

The total cost of these two canals, mclut 
and the excavation of the sloughs, was 87,000 

They irrigated, in 1879, an area 
to 10,000 acres of wild grass land. purpose, 

They can doubtless be made £«£"J and oultiva . 
with the introduction of syste rn m th pr^ ^ fa ^ ^ 
tion of lands, particularly the -Uos ^ ^^ of &e 

uated as to divert a considerable stream ^ m 

water in the river, without the ard of any 

roughly estimated at 8,000 

The treacherous character of the quicksand bed, at the head 
oI the canal, has made it an exceedingly difficult task to con 

ruct a head-gate that would withstand the act.on of flood, 
F four successive seasons, after the building of the cana , the 
Lite was washed out and as often replaced by a new struct- 

TXf" Sthe present structure, which has.with- 

t f. „nd eives every evidence of permanence, was 

ft Tthtli Thai sol novel features, and its plan 

bU , /bTitl success it deserves a brief description. The 

use ot sheet pu =■» wa , 5in this instance abandoned, 

safety of structures of this kind, ^ 

The foundation was prep^ d b y pread g J _ 

sa ndstone, - -7 E £ : l o r*:nk: without sills, was laid 
Upon this a floor tQ J^ was spike d another layer 

across the axis of the , below 

of plank laid .enghwa,. Jh-sflor J^^^, 

-Ti 'X t — « P a length of sixty ,.,a 

way . The whole was ^f^^ the weight exceed 
ten feet high, placed on top of ths^uc 


five hundred tons 

The sluiceways or regulating gates 


were placed five feet from the upper end of the floor, the space 
of five feet in front being occupied by a box of heavy timbers, 
filled with reck and floored over, the top being one foot below 
the bed of the river. The water comes into the canal therefore 
with a free overfall of five feet. In lieu of heavy, solid, regu- 
lating gates, which are difficult to raise and lower, loose planks 
five feet long, placed in grooves in the verticle posts, are used- 
They are removed by a double hook, which engages on an iron 
pin passing through the planks and projecting two or three 
inches on each side. A rope and windlass assist in raising the 
planks to the top. The cost of this structure was $3,200, of 
which S2,000 was expended in laying the foundation. 


The total cost of the canal, was, in round numbers, §100,000. 
The touch character of the excavation the greater portion of 
the distance, rendering the free use of blasting powder neces- 
sary, greatly increased the cost over that of ordinary earthen 
channels of like dimensions. 

The peculiar location of the canal has rendered it a difficult 
one to maintain in repair. The drainage of the mountains 
and plains to the east of the canal, through Sycamore Slough, 
Mariposa Creek, Fresno River, Berenda Slough, and the Chow- 
chilla, in flood time, spreads over a wide expanse of country on 
nearing the rim, and seeks au outlet to the San Joaquin directly 
across the path of the canal, through numerous shallow chan- 
nels. This surplus flood water, as well as that from the over- 
flow of the San Joaquin, above the head of the canal, has been 
wont to sweep across the low banks thereof with little to 
check it. This is still in great measure unprovided for, although 
at the crossing of the larger channels, outlet gates have been 
erected on the lower side of the canal. At the time of my visit, 
the lower or left bank had been restored where washed away 
by the last floods, but the embankment on the upper side is 
still wanting for long distances, and through these breaks the 
water passes freely, causing large shallow ponds, covering hun- 
dreds of acres. The loss by percolation is nominal, owing to 
the impervious nature of the bed, but that by evaporation must 
be considerable. 


The successive destruction of the head-work rendered the 
canal of little service during the first four years of its existence. 
But little land was cultivated on the Chowchilla Ranch during 
that period, and the irrigation of it was supplemented by the 
periodical flow of the Chowchilla River. On the Columbia 
Ranch no land was irrigated, but in 1877 artificial watering 
was inaugurated by an experimental irrigation of natural 
grasses. The season was dry and food for cattle scarce. The 
summer flooding of wild grass gave it a fresh and vigorous 

start, and the experiment proved so successful that it was con- 
tinued on quite an extensive scale. Check levees were thrown 
up for controlling the water, and a rude system introduced. In 
1879, 13,000 acres were irrigated, of which 1,800 were of 
alfalfa and barley, and 1,200 acres of wild grass were watered 
directly from the canal proper, and 10,000 acres of wild grass 
from the slough— the water being diverted above the lower 
head-gate or regulating bridge of the canal, two miles from the 
river. The 3,000 acres irrigated from the canal are prepared 
with well-constructed check levees 0.5 feet apart in verticaj 
height, conforming to the contour of the ground, and dividing 
the land into compartments of twenty to fifty acres. Water is 
conveyed to these by four lateral canals, eight to twelve feet 
wide on the bottom, and having a total length of twelve miles 
The average cost of preparing this tract for irrigation is> 
stated to have been two dollars per acre. The land has very 
little slope and the surface is exceedingly irregular. As the soil 
is of a very firm texture, and underlaid by an impervious sub 
stratum, it absorbs a small amount of water and retains it 
pretty well, but the most careful attention must be paid to its 
drainage. Fortunately there are deep sloughs intersecting the 
ranch, into which the surplus waters from the lands may be 
drained and carried off to the river, The distance to perma- 
nent water is generally but six to eight feet, underneath a 
stratum either of clay or hard-pan, and it is not affected in height 
by surface irrigation. 

On the well-prepared land two men, working alternately, day 
and night, can irrigate 100 acres in twenty-four hours, at an aver- 
age cost of three cents per irrigation. Of the quantity of water 
required we could form no estimate, as irrigation was not in 
progress at the time of my visit, and all the lateral canals were 
dry. Two irrigations only were applied to the lands the past 

One serious fault in the irrigation of the Columbia Ranch 
presented itself, and that was that cattle were allowed to occupy 
the meadows while they were being irrigated. As the land 
drained and dried oft* it was left in a wretched condition, as 
may be readily imagined of that stiff character of soil. 


At the terminus of the canal about 1,400 acres are irrigated 
on the Chowchilla Ranch. One thousand acres are well set in 
alfalfa, and the remainder was this year devoted to barley pre- 
paratory to sowing it also to alfalfa the coming season. The 
soil of the Chowchilla Ranch, or that portion of it which is irri- 
gated, is of a very different character from that of the Colum- 
bia Ranch. It is alluvial in its composition, consisting of a fine 
sandy loam of considerable depth (fifteen or twenty feet), and 
containing a great deal of mica. It is very favorable soil for 
irrigation, and is irrigated in the same manner as that just 
described as in vogue on the Columbia Ranch — by the flooding 




of the surface. An expensive system „f check levee, and re „ Q 
latin- gates has been made. The slope of the ground is some 
what, irregular, and the levees have no uniform direction but 
follow in win-ling lines the contour of the surface They are 
from two to three feet high, with side slopes so nearly vertical 
that it is difficult to ride on them on horseback, and they form 
impassable barriers for farming machinery. The gates through 
the levees for draining water from one compartment to another 
were originally so designed as to be used for a roadway for 
farm wagons; but this absurd and expensive arrangement has 
been abandoned, aud other means of passing across the levees 
have been devised. 

These compartments inclosed by the levees have an area of 
twenty to one hundred acres, and take water from one side 
only. The fault of the system seemed to be that the com- 
partments were too large. The discharge of the canal is so 
little, aud so great a length of time is required to fill the lamer 
compartments sufficiently to cover the highest ground, during 
which the water must stand on the lowest ground, that it has 
an injurious ehect upon the alfalfa, particularly in hot weather. 
There were numerous bare spots in these large checks, where 
the alfalfa had been killed out — scalded by the sun and water. 
With small checks, of say ten acres in area, irrigation is much 
more rapid and effective, and is performed with greater econ- 
omy of water. 

The usual discharge of the canal at its terminus during the 
summer season, is about fifteen cubic feet per second. With 
this head of water, one man can irrigate twenty-five to thirty 
acres of alfalfa in twenty-four hours; say two acres a day per 
cubic foot per second, the flow being equivalent to an average 
depth of twelve to fourteen inches over the land. About one- 
half of this is absorbed, and the remainder is drained out into 
a lower and adjoining compartment. The cost per acre for 
labor of irrigation is about three cents for each watering. But 
two waterings were given during the year 1879 — one in May, 
the other in August. Two crops of hay were cut, up to August 
1st, and then the meadows were pastured the rest of the sea- 

The Farmer's Canal Company. 

This company was organized in May, 1873, as the Farmers' 
Canal Company by W. W. Gray, William P. Fowler, H. J. 
Ostrander, M. D. Atwater, Norval Douglass, H. B. Jolly, 
Thomas Upton, Wilson E. Elliott, Stephen Fitsgerald, and R. 
H. Morrison, all residents and citizens of Merced County. 

The objects and purposes for which this corporation was 
formed, was for the mutual benefit of its stockholders in agri- 
cultural pursuits, by appropriating 100,000 inches of the water 
of the Moreerl River, flowing through Merced County, State of 

taken from the State Engineer's 

"A large part of thin article on Irrigation is 

California, measured under a four-inch pressure, for the pur- 
pose of n-rigating th e lands of the stockholders of this corpo- 
ration, and of others who may wish to purchase water of this 
corporation for irrigating purposes. 

And -to construct, use, and keep in repair, a canal com- 
mencing at a point on the left bank of the Merced River in 
said Merced County, near the line dividing township ran-es 
fourteen and fifteen, east of the Mount Diablo base and mer- 
idian, aud between a certain dam on said river, known as the 
Blunt, Geiser and Pen-in Dam, and a certain oak tree standing 
on the left bank of said Merced River above said dam ; which 
said oak tree is about thirty inches in diameter, at this time, 
and is marked on the westerly side with the letters R. C. C. 
and B. T. being a bearing tree, marking the head of the Robla 
Canal Company's canal. From thence running in a southerly 
direction to the highest bank attainable on or near the right 
bank of the San Joaquin River, as shall hereafter be deter- 
mined and located by the engineer of this corporation; said 
canal to extend in its course across Bear Creek, Mariposa Creek 
and the Chowchilla, Said canal to be of sufficient size to 
carry the said 100,000 inches of water. 

"Said corporation claiming, and to improve and use, for the 
purpose aforesaid, the channels of Bear Creek, Mariposa Creek, 
and the Chowchilla from the points where said canal crosses 
said streams or channels to the mouths of said channels, together 
with all the tributaries thereof below such said crossings, or 
which may be crossed by said canal, and also all other chan- 
nels over which said canal shall pass, from the points of cross- 
ing the same by said canal to the outlets of such channels. 
And also for the construction of such branch canals from the 
main canal hereinbefore mentioned, as shall be found advisable, 
feasible, and to the best interests of this corporation." 

The following amount of stock was subscribed to the corpo- 
ration by the persons hereinafter named, and for the number 
of shares and amounts set opposite each subscriber's name, to 
wit: — 


H. G. Ostrander 

W. W. Gray 

M. D. Atwater 

Thomas Upton 

William P. Fowler 

Wilson E. Elliott 

Norval Douglass 

R. H. Morrison 

H. B. Jolly 

Stephen Fitsgerald 

We were unable to obtain any further detailed information 
as to the real operations of this company or of their present 
success. The work has been several times almost abandoned, 
but now is in a condition to afford a return to its proprietors. 

The canal takes water at a point about four miles above the 
town of Snelling, and three miles below the settlement known 

. Shares. 



S 5,000 









60 . 











as Merced Falls-where the river is flanked by high, rolling 
lands-and about as high up on its course as xt can be 
approached on a grade from the plains, at a moderate expense. 
Thence the route lays along a rolling side-hill and through a 
tunnel 4,000 feet long, a distance of six miles, to Canal Creek- 
The bed of this creek is used to carry the water forward for 
thirteen miles, and thence it is to be distributed principally on 
the plains between the river and the town. 

Following its sinuosities the Farmers' Canal, from its head to 
its terminus, is about fifty miles long, though in an air line 
not more perhaps than fifteen miles. This is tapped by latera 
branches which afford facilities for irrigating a vast region of 
agricultural land, which without water would probably remain 
uncultivated for an indefinite period. 


The first of these lateral branches traverses what is known 
as Ea«le Colony, which is situated four or five miles northwest 
of Merced and about one-half mile from Atwater Station on the 
Southern Pacific Railroad. It comprises 3,000 acres, 1,200 of 
which have been already divided into ten, twenty, thirty, forty, 
and eighty-acre tracts. With twenty acres a purchaser will 
receive one share of stock in the canal, which insures water. 

Merced tract comprises several thousand acres, situated about 
four miles below that of Eagle Colony and flanking Bear 
Creek. This is divided into larger tracts. A large portion is 
adobe and the balance sandy. Irrigation is provided the same 
as for the other colony, and facilities for transportation are the 
same as in the Eagle section. 


Artesian Wells 


297 feet. 

2 feet. 

98 feet. 


Surface soil and sandy loam. 

This space passed through was composed of fine sand «t««k*d 
iiSffi layer, of City soil. The sand was similar to the 

saud of the plains. 

! foo t. J Alayer of solid "hard-pan." 

101 feet. 

In coin* through this strata it was found to be composed of 
various kinds 8 and quaUties of sand from "qmeksand to 

coarse gravel. 

This layer was a compact mass of hard blue day, such as is 
,■ d fro,,, the decomposition of granite and other rocks. 
After passing through tins a flowing well was obtained 

•The cost of boring this well was $157. 

The discharge of the well is nearly one-half of a cubic foot 
per second. When capped for a few hours it seems to accumu- 
late force. 


The theory which has so long prevailed with the people of 
this section of the country, that artesian water is confined 
within a certain belt of land a given distance from the San 
Joaquin River, has recently been exploded and will henceforth 
go for nothing. One of the best wells in the county is that 
which was bored by Mr. Thomas Mull on the place of Augus- 
tine Smith, situated on Mariposa Creek, about seven miles from 
Merced, and adjoining the well-known ranch of Healy Bros. 
Artesian water in this well was struck at a depth of 220 feet, 
and the flow is said to be equal to that of any other in the 


The abundant supply of artesian water which has been 
obtained on the Chowchilla Ranch, is a subject of interest. No 
fewer than eighteen artesian wells have been bored on this 
ranch, of which fifteen have a constant flow. 

The water of these wells is allowed to collect in pools or run 
off at will. They were bored and are used exclusively for stock 
purposes, and add greatly to the value of the ranch. 

It is a singular fact that although flowing wells have been 
obtained east of the San Joaquin River at intervals throughout 
the valley, but one has resulted from the explorations that have 
been made on the west side of that stream. This one is directly 
opposite the cluster of wells on the Chowchilla Ranch, and has 
a very feeble flow of less than one gallon a minute, the water 
being highly charged with sulphur. 

A well some three miles west of the Chowchilla Ranch, and 
some two miles east of the river, belonging to an individual 
land-owner, is one of the strongest in that section. It passes 
through the following strata, a memorandum of which is given 
in next column to illustrate the geological formation of that 
portion of the valley. 



£ 3 tr. _. 

B 3 £ 








20 In north field 

28, 33 Montgomery line well. 

At Smith's ranch 

At main ranch house. . 

In alfalfa field • 

In N. E. corner south field 

Montgomery line 

24 Middle well , 

8 At grove and Ash Slough 
10 Near Burns' sheep camp.. 

10 At Burns' sheep camp 

16 Little well 

21 New well. . ! 

24, 25 Near Berenda 

25 Near Berenda 

4, 9 Kentucky well 

1, 2 McLaughlin's camp 

29 Francisco well 








No flow. 
No flow. 
No flow. 



Primitive Inhabitants of Mer- 
ced County. 

Number, Mode of Life, Government, Marriage, 
Dress, Food, Hunting, etc. 


THE aboriginal population of the country now formmg the 
county of Merced, instead of making the advances towards 
civilisation that many of their sister tribes in the southern por- 
tion of California have made, through the instrumentality o 
the early Mission Fathers and others, have wasted away, and 
most of them have become nearly extinct. 

1 numerous tribes that once occupied the valley of the San 
Joaouin and the foot-hillsof the Sierras, have actually died out, 
or been reduced to a few miserable individuals. 

Jre only surviving remnant of ^^^JT^ 

! i «q *t the most, of the miserable Wallas, 

by about onehundred at te ^^ ^ _. 

who subsist among the rocks o 

Knight, Ferry, all the rest havm^ed tent^ y, ^ 

name, having parsed from ; «- „,, whicn a re 

■■Tribal names are frequent 3 g> J ^ ^ 

never ■— by^y ^ * though the filing differs, 
whose names authorities ag , e . fc ^ 

the sou ndis about t e^n , ™ era division, which they 
indistmguishmgtbetrb es< > ^ neighbors more 

say is composed of people J where the meaningless 

than is the case in central CaUor ; £ them . 

•■Thenativeswhen^to ^ by the inqu *er 

name of their chief, which » Narrative; Vol 

to he that of the tribe itself. 

II, page 30. „ rth ward to the Klamath, there 

-From the San 3 °^^._ BmUy , in Indwm Affavrs 
are some hundreds of small tribes. 

BepoH, 18Sln page SOb 

the localities where he had seen them, declared that they had 
no knowledge of them whatever. They had disappeared, and 
left no record of the cause that had led to their extermination 
No estimate of their numbers appears to have been made until 
1S33 and it was known that they had then greatly decreased. 
It does not appear difficult to account for the rapid decrease in 
the number of these savages. The different tribes were con- 
tinually at war. Besides this, the cholera broke out among 
them in the fall of 1833. and raged with terrible violence. So 
great was the mortality, they were unable either to bury or 
burn their dead, and the air was filled with the stench of 
putrefying bodies. 


, the villages which dotted the 

The race is a thing of the pas , ^^ nearly all traces 

banks of the rivers are razed to t ^ ^ ^ abo rigines have 

of their existence are obhterate • maX ^he^c^ 

tered among the hills anu 

tions or village organization. rf Califomia W ere 

Kit Carson says that in 1829 the y ^ .^ ^ 

W, of Indians. He saw much o a ^ ^ ^ 

tn at then existed. When he gam ^ ,, side d m 

they had mostly disappeared, 

Co.onel Warner says : « I have never read of such a genera^ 
destruction of a people by any angel, good or bad, or by plag e 
orpine*, as that which swept the valleys of the Sacramento 
and San Joaquin in the summer of im ^ _ & 

■' In the autumn of 18<M a pai „y , 
mlnr traveled from the mountains down along the banks ot ^ 

entered the northern ext em i y ^ ^ 

K,mathLakeand^ r — l leto ns and fragments of 

Part ° £ ih °:tZTlt the shading trees, around springs 
skeletons of Indian ^ ^ rf ^ 

and convenient -*2 e P ^ ^^ from 

and over the plain, wne re tf, unnat- 

tree to tree or over the P^ 1 ^ ^ F , om the head 
ura , fatness, had dragged and d nu ^ ^ 

° £ -^r-"r P .— ion of solitude 


tributai'ies were v , ^ ^^ vfflage3 

f of this dire calamity were con- 

.. The same W«^ e ^^ up the San Joaquin 

stantly presented to » S J has portrayed such mournful 

re sults of the »^^; d Xough along by these silent, vacated 
oll v senses as we icp 



village,, which some ten months previous we had seen swarm- 
ing with Indian life, and resounding with voices from hun red 
/human throats. Around the naked villages, graves and th 
ashes o£ funeral pyres, the skeletons and swollen, told . 
tale of death such as to us no written record has ever reveal £ 
From the head of the Sacramento Valley until we reached the 
mouth of Kings River, not exceeding five live Indians were 
Z, and here we found encamped a village of In ,ans among 
whom the destroying angel was eating his greed oi human 
victims by a ghastly carnage. During the one nrght more than 
a SCO re of victims were added to the hosts upon which he had 
been feeding. The wailing of that stricken village during the 
night was incessant and terrible. The sword of the destroyer 
was a remittent fever with which the victims were first stricken 
down to be finished by a hot air bath, followed by a plunge 
into a cold water one. It was evident to us tarn the signs 
which we saw that at first the Indians buned then- dead bu 
when the dead became so numerous that the living could no 
bury them, resort was had to the burning of the and 
when the living, from diminished numbers, were unable to do 
this, they abandoned their villages, the sick and the dying and 
fled in dismay, only to die by the side of streams and pools oi 
water, and beneath the shade of protecting trees.' 


Alcalde Coltonin his "Three Years in California," describes 
llis journey through the San Joaquin Valley on his way to the 
mines, and says: " On the plain we fell in with the camp of 
Mr. Murphy, who invited us into his tent and set before us 
refreshments that would have graced a scene less wild than 

thl "His tent is pitched in the midst of a small tribe of wild 
Indians who gather gold for him, and receive in return pro- 
visions and blankets. He knocks down two bullocks a day to 
furnish them with meat. Though never before in the wake of 
civilization, they respect his person and property. Tins, how- 
ever is to be ascribed in part to the fact that he has married 
the daughter of the chief-a young woman of many personal 
attractions, and full of that warm, wild love, which makes her 
the Haide of the woods. She is the queen of the tribe, and 
walks among them with the air of one on whom authority sits 
as a native grace-a charm which all feel, and of which she 
seems the least conscious. 

"The men and boys were busy with their bows and arrows. 
A. difficulty had arisen between this tribe and one not far 
remote, and they were expecting an attack. Though the less 
nowerful tribe of the two they seemed not the least dismayed. 
The old men looked stern and grave, but the boys were full of 
g ,ee as if mustering for a deer hunt. The mothers, with Spar- 
tan coolness, were engaged in pointing arrows with flint stones, 
so shaped that they easily penetrate and break off in the effort 

toext ractthem,and = = ^— -X 
jeet these arrows J J ^ ^ ^ deer give s 

burying them to ^efeather ^ ^ 

M8laS T b nLT o ^ *— n among these 
L"Ld was told byV. Murphy that he allowed no 

liquor in camp. 


-Monday, October 9, 1848. On returning to our camping 
tree this aLnoon I found three wild Indians quietly squat 

Y i 1, Thev had been attracted their by a red belt, 
Z£S«^ the limbs. They could speak only 
^native dialect, not a word of which I ^£~£ 
We had to make ourselves intelligible by signs. T bey — 
to purchase the belt and each laid down a p.ece of gold, wh 

I worth in the aggregate some S200. I too, one of e 
pieces and «ave the Indian, to whom it belonged, the belt. They 
^siA a coin; I offered them an eagle, but * was no 
.hat they wanted-a Spanish mill dollar, but they wanted 
something smaller-a fifty-cent piece, and they s^d 
it would do. Taking the coin they fastened t m the 
end of a stick, so as to expose nearly the entire circle, and set 
it up about forty yards distant. They then cast lots by a bone, 
which thev threw into the air, for the order in which they 
should discharge their arrows. The one who had the first shot, 
drew his long sinewy bow and missed ; the second, he nussed ; 
the third, and he missed-though the arrow of each flew so 
near the coin it would have killed a deer at that distance. The 
second now shot first and grazed the coin; then the third, 
who broke his string and shot with the bow of the second, but 
missed- and now the first took his turn, and struck the com, 
whirling it off to a great distance. The other two gave him 
the belt! which he tied around his head instead of his blanket, 
and away they started over the hills full of wild life and glee, 
leaving the coin as a thing of no importance in the bushes 
where it had been whirled." 


*In order to present a true description of their peculiar char- 
acteristics, the writer will be compelled to depend to some extent 
upon what others have seen and written. 

We propose to adopt Mr. Bancroft's idea and treat of them 
as insignificant bands, roaming over a comparatively narrow 
area, and apply one description to all. In their aboriginal 
manners and customs they differ but little, so little in fact, that 
one description will apply to all, not only to those who inhabit 
this county, hut in fact to the whole central division. 

•Thi.. portion of nurarUc'c i,fro.., 0. U. Branch's "PrliniUyo InhnbiUnU of Stanialaus," pub- 
s hcil in EH.otts ti Monro's H.stm-y of that county. 




About the only thing common to all the Indians of the Pacific 
Coast was the sweat-house. This great sanitary institution was 
found in every rancheria or vill ige. The sweat-house of the 
Yo Semite Indians is thus described by Lieutenant Bunnell: 
"They were constructed of pules, bark, grass and mud. The 
frame-work of poles is first covered with bark, reeds, or 
orass.and then the mud is spread thickly over it. The struct- 
ure is in the form of a dome, resembling a high mound. After 
bein" dried by a slight fire, kindled inside, the mud is covered 
with earth of a sufficient depth to shed rain from without, and 
prevent the escape of heat from within. A small opening is 
left at the bottom for entrance. As a luxury, no Russian or 
Turkish bath is more enjoyed by civilized people than are these 
baths by the Indians. 
Hot stones are taken in 
and the aperture is closed 
until suffocation would 
seem impending, when 
they would crawl out 
reeking with perspira- 
tion, and with a shout, 
to the cold wa- 

spring in 

ters of the stream. As a 
remedy for disease, the 
same course is pursued, 
though varied at times 
by burning and inhaling 
resinous boughs and 

"This treatment was 
their cure-all. and 
whether it killed or re- 
lieved the patient, de- 
pended upon the nature 
of his disease and the 
vigor of his constitution, 
treatment of disease was on 
in all the arts of life 


Their knowledge of the proper 
levti l with their attainments 

used. as remedies; but 


The term Digger is applied indiscriminately to all these tribes 
in northern and central California, signifying the digging of 
roots, and possibly burrowing in the ground. This term has 
always been used by the inhabitants of this county, in speaking 
of the Indians among us. 

Wehave sometimes heard those about LaGrangeand Snelling 
called the Wallas, which is their true name, but more fre- 
quently have heard the term Digger used. The fact of thia 
nick-name having been applied to all these tribes alike, has 
proven a fruitful source of confusion to writers upon the subject. 
Mr. Bancroft, by his territorial division, succeeds in avoiding 
these causes of bewilderment which have befallen many writers. 
He does so by neither treating the inhabitants of an immense 

country as one tribe, 
nor by attempting to 
ascribe distinct names 
and idiosyncrasies to 
hundreds of small and in- 
significant bands, roam- 
ing over a compara- 
tively narrow area of 
country, and to all of 
which one description 
will apply. 

Bancroft, the histo- 
rian, in his "Native 
Races of the Pacific 
States," divides the wild 
tribes of California into 
three geographical divis- 
ions, namely: the North- 
em Californiums, the 
Central Californians, 
and the Southern Cali- 
fornians, those of this 
, , • ;„ the central division, which comprises the 
Va 7 Tat port- California extending as far north as 
Io>° 0' an TJil south as »', and east and west from the 
!1! ' theCaliforniaboundary. He says - The races 

Pacific Ocean to 


not divided, as in the 

the -sweat-house' w the P ri 

c^ 9 - <■ . „ hall and used on all public occa- 

.» was also a sort of town hall, and ^ ^ 

6ion , When a dance is to occur, a la,£ * ^ ^ 

center of the ediBce. ^e aperf ^ & „. 

aie then closed, and the ^* tivili J S i m ultaneous,y 
naked Indians and squaws, o nun ,f . ^ ^ ^ rf 

with the con.nence.nen of the dan n Yes , musi c fit 

shuffling hobhle-de-hoy, the m«». bursts f^ ^ ^ ^ 
to raise the dead. Such screamy 
ing was never before heard. 

^^^^r^r— -e,vla,,etrihe a ,hut 
northern part of the SUte P ^ .^^ ^ 

an CEdipus." 


shrieking, yel 

Meewoc nation extended from the 

^l^^ in Tuolumne Count,. 
"" Within that portion of this 

we find the Wallas on the 

snow line 

Joaquin Rivei 

comprises Stanislaus County 


Stanislaus and Tuolumne Rivers, in the eastern part of the 
county the Wallalshumne, lower down the valley, occupying 
the region between these two rivers; the Potoancies and 
Coconoons between the Tuolumne and Merced, and the Yach- 
ichumnes between the San Joaquin and Mount Diablo. 

As to tribal distribution, the Meewocs north of the Stanis- 
laus designate principally by the points of the compass. These, 
are toomun, choomuch, hayzootic, and olowit (north, south, 
east, and west), from which are formed various tribal names, 
according to the direction in which they live. 


The word Wallie or Walla, has excited much discussion as 
to its meaning. It seems to be generally settled, however, that 
it is derived' from the word " Wallim," which means "down 
below/' and was applied by the Yo Semite Indians to the tribes 
living below them. These Indians, as we have said before 
hved°on the Stanislaus and Tuolumne Rivers, living chiefly in 
rancherias on the opposite side of these rivers from the towns 
of Knight's Ferry and La Grange. They were consequently 
the first to come in contact with American civilization, as these 
places were settled in early days by the miners as they flocked 
in from other States. 

As this is the tribe which has been the most observed by the 

•writer since he can recollect, it is of them that he will have 

more to say than any other. 

The Walla, however, being a perfect type of the river and 

foot-hill Indian, it will only be necessary to give a description 

of him in order to enable the reader to form an idea of all the 



In height these Indians rarely exceed five feet eight inches, 
and more frequently they are lower in stature. In build, they 
are strong and well knit, though seldom symmetrical A low, 
retreating forehead, black, deep-set eyes, thick, bushy eye- 
brows, high cheek-bones, a nose depressed at the root, and some- 
what spread out at the nostrils, a large mouth, with thick 
prominent lips, teeth large and white, but not always regular, 
rather large ears, large hands and feet, the latter being per- 
fectly flat, and a broad chin is the prevailing type. 

The complexion is generally very dark, often being nearly, 
black, though some are more of a copper color. The hair is 
very thick, course, black and straight; is generally worn short, 
especially by the men and some of the older women. The 
younger ones always wear theirs long. 

The men have beards, short, thin, and stiff. We have seen 
some of the young men with a soft, downy moustache upon 
their upper lip, cultivating it with as much pride as the ordi- 
nary " Young America." 


The original dress of these natives was very simple, and like 
all the aboriginal tribes who lived in a mild, warm climate. 
Nature was more instrumental in forming the fashions for 
them than any leader of the art from among their number. 

la primitive times they went naked, unadorned with any 
of the modem embellishments which their contact with civili- 
zation has led them to adopt. 

In the summer-time the apparel worn by the men was 
scarcely anything; they woreathin strip of covering about the 
loins when in full dress, which was very seldom, they usually 
preferring to be perfectly unencumbered by anything in the 
shape of clothing. The winters, however, interfered with 
this indelicate mode of appearing, and they were compelled to 
resort to the skin of deer, and other animals, which was thrown 
over the shoulders, and sometimes a species of robe was made 
from the feathers of water-fowl, or strips of beaver skin 
twisted together, and rabbit and squirrel skins tied together and 
wound around the body, and affording an effectual protection 
against the inclemency of the weather. 


The women were scarcely better clad, although we think 
they were much more modest than their sisters of the Colus 
tribe, who were the admiration of our friend Green of Colusa, 
inhis younger days, and who, he says in his article on" Indians 
of Colusa county," * were so negligent and untidy as to allow 
their tunicas to wear out ■« until a very few cords sufficed to 
remind them of the modesty of Mother Eve." 

Our Indian women in summer-time wore a fringed apron of 
tule and other grasses, which fell from the waist before and 
behind nearly down to the knees, and open at the sides. We 
never heard of their failing to keep these dresses in good repair, 
and think when one became sufficiently soiled or damaged to 
shock the modesty of an admirer, that they certainly must 
have ordered a new one. 

There was a great plenty of grass in the country at that 
time, and it would have been an easy matter for one of our 
belles to have kept a wardrobe with several changes in it for 
all emergencies. 


To think of one of these belles appearing at a ball with 
simply a bunch of tules hung down in front as her only ball 
dress, is simply shocking. 

They might have done such things in Colusa, and such 
sights may have been witnessed by the historian Green in his 
young days, but we. will not add to the already sufficiently 

• History of Colusa Oounty, published in 1870, by Elliott & Mooro. 



degraded character of the tribes among us such utter disre- 
gard of modesty and decency among their women. 

In the winter season a half-tanned deer-skin is used in addi- 
tion to the garment above mentioned. The hair is generally 
■worn cut short, though occasionally we find it loose and flow- 
ing especially among the younger women, it frequently falling 
below the waist. They " banged" the hair by cutting it off 
square in front, and we presume the present style in vogue 
amono- the white belles is taken from the custom of some oi 
these "aboriginal tribes. We never saw any of them with 
" montagues" on ; it may be that they are not yet far enough 
advanced in civilization to adopt these late beautifiers of the 


■Roth men and women being fond of ornaments, it is not 
uncommon to see the hair tucked full of feathers, leaves, etc., 
the ears pierced and carved bones of different animals, or pieces 
of wood stuck through; sometimes beads are used to ornament 
the ears, and strings of beads of different colors are frequently 
worn about the neck. Clam, abalone, and other shells highly 
polished are also used. 


The head-dress for gala days and dances is elaborate, it eon | 
sisting of a multitude of gay feathers, skillfully arranged ... 

different fashions. „..,„.„ 

We have seen eight or ten, and sondes a ^«J^T 
ringed up for the danee with ahead-gear made of the scalps 
of woodpeckers and bright feathers from other birds, some wffb 
ell, and others decked off with the long feather. *om * 
hawk or ease's win-, with the upper portion oi then bodies 
"pli::^ sLpes'of red, white, black and blue, presenting 

a hideous appearance. obtained 

Ked was used more than any other coloi, it* ° 
fr0 m the cinnabar fields of the Coast Range^ *~ ^ 

-The New Almaden cinnabar mine has been 
memorial a source of contention between a^ ^ 
Thither from a hundred miles ^^^^ 
savages, and often such visits were not tieeti 

suit. The women wear the brightest colors of calicoes, and 
sometimes are rich enoughto own an old shawl. 


It is but natural to suppose that these natives of the forest, 
surrounded as they were by naught but nature herself, unaided 
by, and untutored in the mechanical and other arts of civilized 
man, knew no other and exercised no other guide in the con- 
struction of their places of abode, than the dictates of common 
sense and the appliances at hand would alone suggest. 

Having no brick and mortar, no heavy, well-cut timbers for 
piers, and no scantling for cross- timber,, he drew upon Mother 
Earth for his foundation, and upon the poles of the willow for 
scaffolding for the frame-work ofhis hut. He had no hoards 
either rough or smoothly planed, and the bark from the trees 
of the forest furnished the rustic cover for his ill-constructed 

house. , , ., c 

In the summer he required but little shelter, and a p.le of 
brush placed on a kiud of scaffold, made of poles or a tree, suf- 
ficed to shade him from the sun. 

In winter he required something more than this to sh Her 
himself and family and relatives from the cold, chilly blasts ot 

a winter's storm. 
I He built his hut on the level ground, sometimes over an 
exC avation three or four feet deep, and averaging from ten to 
thirty feet in diameter, accordiog to the size of the family to 

"Trude w i,low poles, which nature has furnished him he 

■ , h, the .round in the form of aeircle, a sufficient depth to 
S1 „ks into the giound rf ^ ^^ 

ffi Tid p r::t! ;:::—; he wb M - 

TX « and intertwining them until he has a com- 
^ri-w^ofUw poles, and this is the frame-work of 

US hUt ' l for the sides, and again nature responds to 

He looks around for th e« , ^^ 

his aemand. ^"g^C covering. Filling the 

perpendicularly downward 
neck and breast. 


bodies in different places, on . *■ 


also tatoo slightly on the 

The women tatoo their uuu- , ~- - ^ ^ ^ 

chin from the centre and corner of tl 



t „t though rarely. It » said 

The men tatoo to some «**£^ cm be easily 

that by these marks women of ditteren 

distinguished. f civilization, have 

Both men and women, since the adv ^ ^ ^ Q0 

adopted a, nearly as possible the die- ^ ^ suit o£ 

uncommon thing now-a-days to see 

....„„ u „til it is substantially covered, and 

bark, etc., against the f.ameun ^ ^ ^ 

tbea *» « r nlhal left an opening at the top to 
a thick layer of mud ^ ^ ^ ground 

give egress to smoke, and ^ ^ ^.^ 

All the room there is ^ 

He occupied it with his 

family and allhis relatives; building 

>g now-a-days to see* « ^ feVf> atia 

ter they cooked, ate and slept within tins 
te fire in the center, to 5 only o£ mats made 

S pace. SiBfu™^ W ^ hspalace . His .usuries were 

clothes on a dan _ 

with an old dilapidated plug hat on 




A collection of these huts is called a rancheria, being derived 
from the Spanish word ranch), which was first applied by the 
Spaniards to the spot where, in the island of Cuba, food was 
first distributed to the Indians. The rancheria near Knight's 
Ferry is a small collection of such huts as we have described, 
interspersed here and there with rudely constructed frame 
cabins, after the fashion of many of the early miner, 1 



Generally in a central portion of the village is a much larger 
constructed hut, of a semi-globular shape, made in the same 
manner as the roughly constructed huts first mentioned; this 
is used as a fandango house, and for the entertainment of vis- 
iting tribes. On entering this house at Knight's Ferry, we 
found a group of drunken Indians lying on the bare ground in 
different parts of the hut, rudely constructed baskets, shells, 
beads, etc., scattered in a disorderly manner everywhere, and 
two or three papooses fastene. to boards, which their mothers 
were used to carrying on their backs. There were a few coals 
and ashes in the center, and the room was filled with smoke 
and a disagreeable odor, which so staggered us that we were 
at once compelled to make for the doorway, and get out into 
the open air again. This house was also used as a public sweat- 
house. See view on page 183. 


Their main reliance for food is on acorns, roots, grass-seeds, 
berries, and fish. Though generally too lazy to hunt, yet there 
were times when the men ventured forth on the chase, and 
managed to kill an antelope, deer, rabbit, or some other game. 
Smairgame, such as hares, rabbits and birds, were easily shot 
with the bow and arrow, as well as deer and antelope. In 
hunting the latter the hunter, disguised with the head and 
horns of a stag, creeps through the long grass to within a few 
yards of the unsuspecting herd, and pierces the heart of the 
fattest buck at his pleasure. Game traps, it seems, were never 
invented by any of them, and they had to depend on the chase 
altogether for meat. The squaws gather the acorns, roots, grass- 
seeds, berries, etc., and, in fact, do all the hard work, even to 
carrying in the fish and game captured by their lords. 

The squaw who is a wife and mother, is required and 
expected to provide all the food nftessary for her buck and the 
papooses. We have see.* them gathering acorns in the forests 
with large, cone-shaped, willow baskets, carried on their backs 
by means of a strap attached to the basket and carried around 
over the head, throwing the whole weight on the forehead; 
they would knock the acorns down with a pole which they 
carried for that purpose, and filling their baskets would return 

towards night, to all appearances completely fatigued. We 
have seen them in numbers passing through the streets of the 
town, loaded down with the fruit of the oak. 

They eat acorns both raw and cooked, the custom being to 
shell and dry them in the sun, and then pound into a powder 
with stones selected for the purpose. From this flour a species 
of coarse, black bread is made, which is said to be very palatable 
and nutritious. They sometimes make a kind of soup out of 
it, by boiling in a water-tight basket. They make a dish 
resembling mush from seeds, which, it is said, with a little salt 
added, is good. 


Grasshoppers are not considered a bad dish, but, on the 
other hand, quite a delicacy. Reptiles and insects not poisonous 
are eaten. The manner of capturing the grasshopper is amus- 
ing. A pit is dug near the center of what is considered a good 
grasshopper region, and a circle formed in which the pit is the 
center; a systematic beating of the grass is then commenced 
around the circle with sticks, brush, etc., all advancing towards 
the pit, and in this manner driving the poor grasshoppers into 
the trap which has been set for them, and when once in they are 
easily managed, and a dainty meal for their captors they prove 
to be. They sometimes set 'fire to the grass, and drive them in 
this way. Once caught then comes the process by which they 
are prepared for food; for winter use they are dried in the sun, 
for immediate consumption they are either mashed into a paste, 
crround into a fine powder and mixed with other edibles, or 
they are saturated with salt water, placed in a hole in the 
ground, which' has been heated, then covered with hot stones, 
and eaten like shrimps, when thoroughly roasted. Thi3 is one 
of the dainties of the season among the Indians. 


Powers tells us that the Meewocs ,c eat all creatures that 
swim in the waters, and all that creep, crawl or walk upon the 
earth, with perhaps a dozen exceptions." The death of a horse 
in the neighborhood always created a great commotion in the 
Indian camp, and as soon as the report reached the rancheria 
they came in flocks of men, women and children, to carry off 
the delicious morsels of flesh from the dead animal. The first 
operation was to skin the horse, the second to quarter it, and 
the remainder of the programme was carried out by taking off 
every piece of flesh, entrails, and all, which was to be found, 
leaving only the skeleton. A. dead cow or other animal was 
eao-erly devoured, but they seemed to have a peculiar weak- 
ness fur " hoss flesh." They roast the meat on sticks before the 
fire, or bake it in a hole in the ground, and always couve} r 
the food to their mouth with their fingers. They frequently 
fio-ht like dogs over the portion allotted to them, and act more 
like demons than anything else. Frequently fights occur as 



to who shall carry off the entrails of one of those dead animals, 
and if liquor is indulged in during a horse festival, it is almost 
certain that one or more of the contending parties will t^et 
badly hurt. 

The Indian has his droughts and years of scarcity of food. 
There are times when the acorn crop is scarce; when the 
grasshopper is not plentiful, and when the grass does not reach 
the maturity necessary to yield him seeds ; when the tish do 
not multiply, and the game is far away. Famines have occurred 
and taken many of them away. 


When acorns are scarce, a curious expedient is resorted to to 
obtain them ; they rob the woodpecker of his stores. One of 
the habits of this bird is to store away acorns for its own future 
use, in the trunks of trees. A hole is first pecked into the 
trunk of the tree, and then commences the process of storing 
by placing each acorn in a separate hole, which it fits tightly. 
It is in time of scarcity only that the Indians will rob this bird; 
he ordinarily has great respect for the little worker, and would 
hold it sacrilege to deprive him of his food except in times of 
famine or extreme need. 

" When the Indian finds a tree stocked by the carpenter-bird, 
he kindles a fire at its base and keeps it up until the tree 
falls, when he helps himself to the acorns."— Helper's Land of 
Gold, page <B69. 


They catch fish hy both spearing and netting. The waters 
of the Tuolumne, Stanislaus, Merced, and San Joaquin gener- 
ally furnish them with good fishing. They spear the salmon 
with spears made of some kind of tough wood, from four and a 
half to five feet long, headed with flint or bone sharpened to a 

We have seen them catching fish with a net in a manner 
somewhat similar to the American mode of netting. They 
dry the fish in the sun, and also pieces of meat cut strmg-hke; 
this they reserve for winter. After the whites arrived in the 
country the Indians hecome. to a great extent, beggars, and 
now frequently slide around to the back door and beg a meal 
of victuals, it being seldom that anything can be obtamed from 
them as a recompense for it; sometimes you can get them o 
saw a little wood, but not often. When they are employed 
in this manner they are slow and lazy about it. 


For weapon, they use bows and arrows and to spear 
described above, also the club is used 
are well made, and generally from two and a ha to tine est 
,on*,„nd rovor^d at length w^h s-nw <ro,n tlv 

We have frequently seen them wrapped with sinew only at the 
middle of the bow. The arrows were rather long, made of 
reed, headed with a small piece of sharp flint and winged at the 
other end with a symmetrical row of feathers on opposite 
sides to each other; the feathers were generally colored and the 
arrows were sometimes painted; they were carried in a bunch 
wrapped near- the middle, so that one could be easily extracted 
for use. It is said, and generally believed, that all the Indians 
formerly poisoned their arrows, but we have no such evidence 
at hand in relation to these Indians, and think in all probability 
that they never practiced it. 


Although it is generally believed by many that these Indians, 
because of their savage natures, were at one time warlike, yet 
we fail to find any instance whieh shows them to be of that dis- 
position. We remember to have heard of only one battle being 
fought by them, and that,, it seems, took place near Table 
Mountain, in Tuolumne County, with some neighboring tribe " 
from the mountains, lasting only a short time, and in which no 
one was hurt. 

The earliest residents inform us that they always showed a 
friendly disposition from their first contact with the American*. 
Writers generally would have us believe that the Mexicans 
had considerable trouble with the Indians throughout Califor- 
nia, and some old Mexicans here verify this by telling of the 
battles in which they have been engaged. 

Mr. Bancroft says in regard to this subject that " Battles, 
though frequent, were not attended with much loss of life. 
Each side was anxious for the fight to be over, and the first 
blood would often terminate the contest. When fighting they 
stretched out in a long single line and endeavored, by shouts and 
gestures, to intimidate the foe. Among some tribes, children 
Ire sent by mutual arrangement into the enemy's ranks, during 
the heat of battle, to pick up the fallen arrows and carry them 
back to their owners, to be used again. 


-Notwithstanding the mildness of their disposition, and the 
inferiority of their weapons, the central Californians do no 
lack courage in battle, and when captured will meet their fate 
with all the stoicism of a true Indian. 

■•For many years after the occupation of the county by the 

laniards by abandoning their villages, and lying in ambush 

" n the' approach of the enemy, they were enabled to resist 

I ma s "adsof Mexicans sent against them from the P re- 

r far the recovery of deserters from the 
SK ^!: on lands and abduction of women are the usual 
of war among themselves. Oppoain ff «mi»on.pp«»eh- 



in order to prevent their enemies from taking deliberate arm. 
Upon the invasion of their territory they rapidly convey the 
intelligence by means of signals. A great smoke is made upon 
the nearest hill-top, which is quickly repeated upon the sur- 
rounding hills, and thus a wide extent of country is aroused in 
a remarkably short time." 


The government of these tribes is vested in a chief and a chief- 
tainship, and is hereditary in the male line only. Considerable 
dignity attaches to the chief, and his family are treated with 
oreat consideration. _ 

" The widows and daughters of the chiefs are treated with 
distinction, and are not required to work as other women. 


Every band has its separate head. Old Mtmud, who was 
chief of the Wallas at Knight's Ferry for many years, is well 
remembered by all of the old residents of that place. He was 
a large, fleshy Indian, had rather an intelligent look, and taken 
all in all was much superior to the average among his tribe. 
He was beloved by his own tribe and respected by others. He 
had several wives and a rather pretty daughter; the latter we 
have seen many times when she accompanied the bucks in then- 
annual dance through the town. She was decorated with feath- 
ers and beads, had a pleasing look, and always carried a plate 
which she passed around and took up a collection. 

By this device the Indians were enabled to gather together 
enough money to buy sufficient whisky to keep them drunk for 
a week or two. They all drank, and when the law prohibited 
the selling of liquor to them, and the whites would refuse to 
let them have it, they managed to procure it from the Chinese 
store-keepers, who were very sly in trafficking with them. 
When drunk, they would fight among themselves and beat the 
women unmerciful 1}'. 

The chief is allowed the best house in the rancheria for him- 
self and family, and the best of everything that is brought into 
camp is allotted to him. On his death the son succeeds his 
father, and incase of no male issue the females of the family 
appoint a successor. 


On the death of a chief the whole village is thrown into 
mourning, which continues for many days. The body of the 
deceased is burned; incremation being almost universally prac- 
ticed among the tribes of the Central Division. In preparing 
for burning, the body was decorated with feathers, flowers, beads, 
etc and after remaining in state a few days, was conveyed to 
the' funeral pyre, which was constructed of brush and other 
combustible material, placed on top of this pile, and together 

with the weapons, robes, beads, and in fact all the effects of the 
leased, was there burned amid the howls and lamentations of 
the family and friends of the dead one. 

The ashes of the dead, mixed with grease, are smeared over 
the face as a badge of mourning, and pitch is also used to cover 
both the head and face, which the widow allows to remain until 
it wears off. Pitch pine is brought from the mountainsand tar 
b made out of it to be used for this purpose. They have an 
annual dance of mourning, at which time the most amentabb 
groans and howls are kept up by the whole rancheria. We 
have heard them frequently clear across the river, and it seemed 
as though they kept it up all night, at a time. At this time 
they mourn the loss of deceased friends and relatives. 


We have nothing positive to say in regard to their ideas of 
the future state. It is said that the Meewocs believe in utter 
annihilation after death. The punishments that they feared 
from their god were almost entirely physical, and pertained to 
this life Still they thought that the heart of a good chief 
went up, after death, among the stars to enlighten the earth, 
hence that the stars, comets, and meteors, were the hearts of 
great Indians departed. 


The marriage relation among them is not generally under- 
stood • from best accounts we know that there is very little cere- 
mony in tying the nuptial knot. The inclinations of the bride, 
it seems, were consulted, and she was seldom ever compelled to 
marry against her own wishes. The bonds of matrimony can 
be as eaily throw aside as they are assumed. The husband 
has only to say the word and they are severed. 

Polygamy is practiced among them. An Indian man can 
have aiTmany wives as he can keep; but a woman cannot have 
a plurality of husbands, or men to whom she owes obedience. 
We do not know for what cause an Indian could put away his 
wife, but presume that in all probability adultery was one. 
This crime was, at one time, punished with death, but after con- 
tact with the whites, the chiefs seemed to have lost all control 
and authority over their female subjects. Adultery is not com- 
mon among themselves, although a husband is generally willing 
to prostitute his dearest wife to a white man for a considera- 
tion. . 
It is considered that no cause, of however great a magnitude 

it may be, is sufficient to justify a woman in leaving her hus- 
band. Sometimes the women rebel against the tyranny of 
their husbands, but are finally compelled to yield and submit 
to his authority. The life of the wife is one of menial labor 
and child bearing, the latter however, falls lightly on the mother 
among these tribes. 




The time for delivery arriving, she seeks some quiet place by 
the side of a stream, sometimes accompanied by a female friend, 
but most frequently by herself. The moment the child is born 
she washes herself and infant in the stream, and then covering 
it with strips of soft skin, straps it to a board and carries it oft 
on her back. It is suckled by drawing it around to the front 
and allowing it to hang there while the mother pursues her 
usual avocations, so that in this way little time is consumed m 
the rearing of children, nor is it allowed to interfere with the 
usual avocations of the mother. She is expected to do her 
daily drudgery, and is never allowed to shirk the responses 
which rest upon her as the servant of her lord and master 

Child-bearing effects these women so little that cases have 
been known where they, while traveling on a journey have 
stopped by the wayside for the purpose of delivery, and when 
the operation was over they would overtake the party who 
had probably traveled several miles in advance « J- 
turition, though rarely occurring, usually results fatally to the 
mother and child when it does occur. 

The women bring forth each year with great regularity, and 
scon break down and grow old. A curious custom is said to 
p evai! among them at the time of child-birth. When ch Id- 
birth overtakes the wife, the husband puts himself to bed, and 
^ Z ling and groaning he affects to suffer all the agonies 
If a woman n labor. Lying there he is nursed and attended 
r some days by the women as carefully as though he were the 
llarluffL This seems ridiculous, but it is asserted to be 

^"uberty is arrived at early, and according , 
Powe s ■. It 2 not a thing at all uncommon in the day 
rowerb, ± «*- woman become a mothei 

° dd '" ™ 11T m looking girls carrying their 

When a squaw begins to bieak down rf 

among them. 



eration to another. We ^ long ag0> 

h vouched for by an old "* r ^^ on the 

many Indians lived in the ^^^ their wigW ams 
wes t side of the San Joaqmn; theie they ^ ^ 

and lived amidst the game winch was p 

regions; there were many of them; they lived happily on the 
fat of the forests and the fish in the streams, but, 4o! the sad 
day came. The Great Spirit became angry with them and 
drove them from these haunts in the mountains. When the 
day had arrived for their expulsion, the earth shook, the rain 
fell in torrents; the lightning Hashed in sheets and struck at 
their feet; the thunder roared madly and continually, indicat- 
ing the great displeasure of the angry father. The poor 
Indians, believing the wrath of the Great Spirit was upon them , 
fled from the mountains amid this fiery convulsion of the ele- 
ments. Many were drowned, and those who escaped always 
lived in dread and fear of these mountains. 

I am inclined to believe this, for the reason that in traveling 
in company with Mr. JohniRhea in these mountains a few 
years ago, we found many relics, such as mortars, stones, etc 
that would indicate that Indian tribes had at some time lived 
there He told of many other evidences that he had seen, and 
also of the stories he had heard, which would seem to cor- 

roborate this. . 

This tribe must have been the Yachickwnvnes, who we find 
afterwards inhabiting the valley of the San Joaquin, between 
that river and Mount Diablo. 

It must have been the remnants of this tribe living on the 
San Joaquin, that Colonel Warner of Lob Angeles describes as 
having seen in his expedition up through the San J«qum Val- 
ley in 1832. and on his return in 1S33. 


I» procuring the grasshoppers, the squaws first sought a 
,1 Wity abounding in this native luxury. Having 
SS-SS. spot, they dug holes in the form of an inverted 
eo„: ndof sufficients^ toadmittheir baskets Theseesca- 
vati ns were about four feet deep, and two feet in diam tei at 
TZth" sides sloping to meet at the bottom. A hole was 
£ f i;lt, P and S W ben everything was ready the men 

!„d children were called out to make a "surround. With 
„d childien ^ riving the insects 

T \ the cen:, where the baskets werelocated. Thus they 
towards the centeiw „ rasshoppe rs, finally inclos- 

di^r^k^cTwle^kly covered. This 

g It a time of year when they were heavy on the wing. 

^X^Z^ or broiled and eaten like « 

ity was chose £ brfore ^ ^ ^ ^ as 

-r^avagf epicure. ^ ^ ^ n » ^ 

mortar, the result greatly --« * " ^ ^ ei M de3 - 
eonsidered by the savages a great delicacy, 



serfc. Even whea raised among civilized people, many kept 
their packages of grasshopper preserves, and frequently resorted 
to them. The squaws packed this article away in baskets, and 
it was only brought out on special occasions. Americans who 
have partaken of this food declare that the taste is quite pleas- 
ant. Eating the grasshoppers alive was a common custom, and 
seemed to please the savage appetite. 


The angle-worms were found in boggy and swampy local- 
ities, around springs, ponds, etc. The squaws, taking their 
sticks of chaparral, which formed their usual instruments of 
excavation, pushed them down into the mire. By shaking 
these from side to side, the surrounding earth was compressed. 
The worms feeling the pressure came to the surface, and were 
quickly seized and thrown into the baskets. When washed 
and boiled they made an excellent and nutritious soup— for the 


The green plant-worms were picked from the vegetation, 
stripped by the fingers, and dried or boiled. 

The ants were sometimes disposed of by simply carrying 
them from the tree or bush to the mouth upon the tongue- 
primitive, indeed, in its simplicity. 

Pine cones were gathered before the nuts had failed out, and 
much labor was therefore saved. The nuts which are of a 
pleasant oily taste, and exceedingly nutritious, were extracted 
by beating the cones, and eaten raw. 

The wild pea-vines were gathered in immense quantities 
when young and tender. By placing elder sticks against the 
sides of the basket and extending beyond the opening, the 
squaw was enabled to carry nearly a cart-load of the light 
growth. In the spring and summer they make lengthy trips 
into the mountains in search of food, and sometimes prepared 
their winter stock in these encampments, carrying it after- 
wards to their rancherias. To prepare the pea-vine for eating, 
the hole in the ground was resorted to. In this heated rocks 
were placed, and covered with a layer of the vine; water was 
thoroughly sprinkled on; then two or three heated rocks; 
another layer of pea-vine, sprinkled as before; and so in that 
order by successive layers, until the mass was formed in the 
shape of a cone. When completed, one of the baskets was 
placed over -it, forming a secure covering, and the mass left 
until the next day. It was then thoroughly steamed and 
cooked. The squaw, with the stone pestle, crushed the steamed 
mass on an inclined board. With the sole of her foot placed 
at the bottom of the incline, she kept the vines on the board. 
The process was continued until all became plastic. The squaw 
then with her hands shaped it into the form of a cake, and 
after putting a hole through the center, hung it out to dry. 
The heated rocks were handled by the squaws with two sticks 
as easily and gracefully as a civilized woman would wield the 


As heretofore stated in Doctor Marsh's article, "their food 
varies with the season. In February and March they hve on 
grass and herbage ; clover and wild pea-vine are among the best 
kind of their pasturage. I have often seen hundreds of them 
grazing together in a meadow, like so many cattle." 

Powers, in the Overland Monthly, states: "But it isawell- 
established fact that California Indians, even when reared by 
Americans from infancy, if they have been permitted to asso- 
ciate in the meantime with others of their race, will, in the 
season of lush, blossoming clover, go out and eat it in preference 
to all other food." 

Grass-seeds were gathered by the squaws at the time when 
ready to drop from the stalks. Each squaw took her swath, 
and a small basket arranged with a suitable handle was passed 
over and among the standing grass with a swinging motion, 
thus catching the seeds which were emptied by the same conr 
tinuous motion into a larger basket, fastened behind the squaw 
and to her left. The chaff of dried grass was winnowed ou 
by the breath or wind, and the seeds were prepared by grind- 
ing in the stone mortar or by boiling. The boiling was per- 
formed by throwing heated rocks into the baskets containing 
the water and articles to be cooked, taking them out when 
cooled, and replacing the heated ones until the water was 
brought to the boiling point. The seeds when boiled were 
eaten by all from the same pan, the implements used being the 


*" Grizzly Adams," the great bear hunter, thus describes an 
Indian feast: " When supper was announced we sat down to 
the most curious meal it was ever the fortune of white man to 
partake of. Two large wooden bowls were placed upon the 
ground containing a kind of mush, which was made by mixing 
grass-seed, meal, and water in the howls, and then throwing in 
hot stones till it was cooked. At the sides of these were 
heaps of roasted meats piled on flat stones and around these 
dishes we sat flat upon the ground. The chief began by 
scooping up three fingers full of mush. The others followed 
his example, each dipping for himself and transferring from the 
common bowl to his mouth. This method of eating rather 
sta^o-ered my tastes and I confined myself to meat. The chief 
repeatedly urged me to try the mush, but I assured him I 
never ate mush. 

"The meal lasted until all the provisions were exhausted, 

when at a nod, all knelt and the chief muttered over a prayer 

of thanksgiving to the Great Spirit." 

"In the neighborhood of my camping place," says Adams, 

" there happened to be one of those restless tribes of California 

Indians, who are accustomed to migrate from the plains to the 

"See Life of "Grizzly Adams," published in another part of 

this work. 



mountains, and from the mountains to the plains, as the seasons 
change and the game upon which they live goes up or down. 
These creatures lived upon the fish which they caught in the 
streams, and the small animals which they killed on the land ; 
also upon nuts, acorns, berries, and roots, sometimes upon 
insects, and sometimes upon grasses. At the time of my 
advent among them in the fall, though plenty still smiled on 
their larders, I aided to give them abundance; for there was 
much game, and I was liberal with what cost me so little 
trouble to procure. In return for my liberality, the Indians 
assisted me in building a wigwam, and gathering and drying 
grass for the use of my oxen in the winter. They also assisted 
in tanning the skins of the deer I killed, and in making me 
several complete suits of buckskin, which I then adopted as 
my costume, and in which ever since I have generally dressed." 

The women gathered their food in large conical baskets, 
placed upon their backs, the apex being at the bottom and 
resting on the belts. In order to hold tliem to the back, and 
support their weight, a circular band was placed around the 
basket and across the forehead of the squaw. 

Johnson describes the feeding of the natives in Sutter's Fort 
as follows: "Long troughs inside the walls were filled with a 
kind of boiled mush made of the wheat-bran, and the Indians, 
huddled in rows upon their knees before these troughs, quickly 
conveyed the contents by the hand to the mouth." 


The climate being mild, they had never conceived the idea 
of a dress of any kind; even the traditional fig-leaves our first 
parents improvised, when they had learned good from evil, 
being entirely wanting with the male portion of them. The 
squaws hung a fringe of small cords, made of wild hemp, from 
the waist to near the knees. This was called a tunica. These 
were sometimes worn out until a very few cords sufficed to 
remind them of the modesty of Mother Eve. They also wore 
strings of beads around the neck, and the chief merit of these 
consisted in the quantity. The women pierced their ears and 
put through bones of different animals, sometimes three-quar- 
ters of an inch in diameter. These bones were always check- 
ered with alternate spots or squares of black and white. Then 
a profusion of beads, intermixed with small bits of shells, set off 
the charms of the village belle. We have seen babies literally 
covered over with beads and shells. The female child wore no 
tunica until about three years of age. 


Beads and ocean shells were to them what gold and silver 

are to us they were the standard of all values. The Indians 

were inveterate gamblers, and would sit for days throwing a 
handful of sticks and guessing at the number— even or odd. 


They could — men, women, and children — swim the river, 
even at the highest times, and carry across a large basket of 
acorns or other food; but they usually made a sort of float of 
tules, when they had much to carry over. They had no con- 
ception of making any kind of boat except of a bunch of tule 
which one of them would propel with a pole caught in the 
middle, and with which he would give quick, successive strokes, 
first on one side, and then on the other. The Indian baby, 
male or female, could swim by the time it could walk. The 
mothers would take their children down to the water, and while 
they were preparing the acorn (lour, as above described, the 
children would swim like so many young sea-lions. 


About 1850 there existed along the head waters of the Mer- 
ced, Chowchilla, and Stanislaus Rivers and their tributaries, 
the following tribes, called Chook-chan-cie, Two-um-ne, Po- 
to-en-cie, Noot-cho, Po-ho-ne-chee, Stan-is-Iow, Ho-na-chee, 
Chowchilla, and other tribes. These tribes made frequent 
attacks upon the whites with success, and for awhile they 
believed they could exterminate the whites. With this view 
the Indians made a simultaneous attack upon the whites in all 
the settlements in that vicinity, and several whites were killed, 
and their homes plundered and burned. 


At this time, 1850, John D. Savage had a store or trading- 
post on little Mariposa Creek. Here the Indians used to con- 
gregate, and Savage learned of . their intentions towards the 
whites, through his two Indian wives, whose names were 
Eekino and Homut. In order to avert such a calamity, and 
without even hinting at his motive, he inviced an Indian chief, 
who possessed much influence with the Chowchillas, and 
Chook-ehan-cies, named Jerez, to accompany him and his two 
squaws to San Francisco; hoping thereby to impress him with 
the wonders, numbers, and power of the whites, and through 
him the various tribes that were malcontented. To this Jerez 
o-ladly assented, and they arrived in San Francisco in time to 
witness the first celebration of the admission of California into 
the Union, on the twenty-ninth of October, 1850,* when they 
put up at the Revere House, then standing on Montgomery 


During their stay in San Francisco, and while Savage was 
purchasing goods for his stores in the mountains, Jose Jerez, the 
Indian chief, became intoxicated, and re turned to the ho tel 

£?a JeuVral j" Mice throughout the State on the twenty-mnth of that mouth. 



about the same time as Savage, in a state of boisterous and 
quarrelsome excitement. In order to prevent his making a 
disturbance, Savage shut him up in his room, and there 
endeavored to soothe him, and restrain his violence by kindly 
words; hut this he resented, and became not only troublesome, 
but very insulting; when, after patiently bearing it as long as 
he possibly could, at a time of great provocation, unhappily he 
was tempted to strike Jerez, and followed it up with a severe 


This action very much exasperated the Indian, and he made 
numerous threats of what he would do. From his influence 
mainly, arrangements were made to drive out, or kill, all the 
whites, and appropriate all their horses and cattle. Accordingly, 
one morning in November, Savage's store and residence were 
attacked, and his Indian wives carried off. Similar onslaughts 
were made at the different points on the Merced, San Joaquin, 
and Chowchilla Rivers. Savage immediately commenced rais- 
ing volunteers, and Governor MeDougal assisted with State aid. 
A battle occurred, such as is seldom witnessed in Indian 
warfare. A rancheria was attacked by thirty-six volunteers. 
The chief Jose was mortally wounded, and twenty-three of his 
men killed. On the south fork of the Merced a rancheria was 
taken without firing a gun. Other engagements took place. 


The Indians spoke of a stronghold occupied by another tribe 
and the following day their chief, Ten-ie-ya, came in alone, 
and said his people would surrender. The volunteers were, 
however, very anxious to see this stronghold, and Ten-ie-ya 
acted as guide in the march to the unknown and unnamed 


About half-way there seventy-two Indians, women and chil- 
dren, were met coming in as promised. They gave as excuse 
for their delay, the great depth of the snow, which was, in 
places, eight feet deep. 

The party pushed on and explored the now famous Yo Semite 
Valley, but found no more Indians. This was in March, 1851, 
and it began snowing, and the party returned. Ten-ie-ya 
asserted that these were the first white men ever in the val- 
ley. In the early part of May, 1851, it was resolved to make 
another trip to the valley, and capture Ten-ie-ya and his fol- 
lowers, who had returned. In the meantime Captain Boling 
captured several Indians. Two of these were sent into the val- 
ley with a message for Ten-ie-ya. On the morning of the day 
Ten-ie-ya was expected, one of the other captive Indians 
escaped, having deceived the guard. 

Soon after the two remaining were seen'untying themselves. 
Instead of informing Captain Boling, that he might make 
more secure their fastenings, two men placed themselves near 
their arms to watch their movements, in order, if possible, to 

distinguish themselves. One was gratified, for as soon as the 
Indians hounded to their feet, freed from their fetters, they 
started to run. Ten-ie-ya's youngest son was shot dead-the 
other escaped. 


While this was occurring, a party was reconnoitering the 
scene of Spencer's disaster * and while there, discovered Ten- 
ie-ya perched upon a rock overlooking the valley. He was 
en-a-ed in conversation, while a party cut off his retreat and 
seeded him as a prisoner. Upon his entrance into the camp 
of the volunteers, the first object that met his gaze was the 
dead body of his son. Not a word did he speak, but the work- 
ings of his soul were frightfully manifested in the deep and 
silent gloom that overspread his countenance. For a time he 
was left to himself; but after awhile Captain Boling explained 
to him the occurrence, and expressed his regrets that it should 
have so happened, and ordered a change of camp, to enable 
the friends of the dead boy to go unmolested and remove the 


While waiting here for provisions, the chief became tired of 
his food, said it was the season for grass and clover, and that it 
was tantalizing for him to be in sight of such abundance, and 
not be permitted to taste it. It was interpreted to Captain 
Boling, when he good-hum or edly said he should have a ton, if 
he desired it. Mr. Cameron (now of Los Angeles) attached a 
rope to the old man's body, and led him out to graze ! A won- 
derful improvement took place in his condition, and in a few 
days he looked like a new man. 

•Sec description ol Yo Semite in on article on succeeding pa^ea. 


With returning health and strength came the desire for lib- 
erty, and it was manifested one evening, when Mr. Cameron 
was off his guard, by his endeavor to escape. Mr. Cameron 
however, caught him at the water's edge, as he was about to 
swim the river. Then in the fury inspired by his failure to 
escape, he cried: "Kill me if you like; but if you do, my voice 
shall be heard at night, calling upon my people to revenge me, 
in louder tones than you have ever made it ring." 

Soon after this occurrence, it being manifest to all that the 
old man had no intention of calling in his people (it was the 
custom of Captain Boling to ask him to call for his people), and 
the provisions arriving, we commenced our march to the head- 
waters of the Py-we-ah, or branch of the Merced, in the valley 
in which is situated Mirror Lake, and fifteen miles above the 
valley, Lake Ten-ie-ya. At a rancheria on the shore of this 
lake we found thirty-five Indians, whom we took prisoners. 
With this expedition Captain Boling took Ten-ie-ya, hoping 
to make him useful as a guide; but if Chow-chit-ty, who dis- 
covered the rancheria, had not been with us, we probably 

•C. U. Spencer, now ti banker of Chicago, who hud been wounded while in pursuit of Indinns. 



would have gone back without seeing an Indian. In taking 
this rancheria no Indiana were killed, but it was a death-blow 
to their hopes of holding out longer against the whites, for | 
when asked if they were willing to go in and live peaceably, the ; 
chief at the rancheria (Ten-ie-ya was not allowed to speak), , 
stretching his hand out over the country, exclaimed: "Not 
only willing, but anxious, for where can we go that the Amer- ] 
icans do not follow us ? " 

Upon promise of good behavior, Ten-ie-ya was allowed to 
return to the valley, but he did not keep his promise. On 
May 28, 1852, a party of gold hunters, consisting of Messrs, 
Tudor, Grover (now of Santa Cruz), Sherman, Babcock and 
Rose, entered the valley. They were prospecting when 
attacked by the Indians, who used bows and arrows. Sher- 
man and Tudor were killed. The rest secreted themselves 
under the rocks, and fought the Indians until sundown. At 
midnight they started and crept along the bluffs, and reached 
the top at sunrise. On their return they visited the Mariposa 
grove and claim to be the first whites who were ever there. 
This was May 30, 1852. 

In June 1852, Lieutenant Moore went to the valley to chas- 
tise the Indians, with a company of United States troops, 
but Ten-ie-ya fled to the Mono tribe. In 1853 he again 
returned to the valley. 


As a reward for the hospitality shown him by the Monos 
they stole a lo*t of their horses, and ran them into the va ley. 
The Monos followed, and came down on them like a whirl- 
wind Ten-ie-ya was surprised in his wigwam and failed by 
a Mono chief. In this fight all the Yo Semite tribe, except 
eight braves, and' a few old women and children, were failed 
and thus, as a tribe, they became extinct, and thus terminated 
the life of the remarkable chief, Ten-ie-ya, whose name, r 
seems to us, ought to have been given to some prommen 
object in the valley where was his honie^ We here take the 
liberty of applying it to the great peak, Cloud s Rest. 


From June to the middle of September, 1850, Mr. Johnson 
traveled' over more than 800 miles through the Sacra- 
mento Valley, and along the banks of the rivers. He visited 
ten distinct tribes of Indians, besides meeting many wandering 
families or communities. He says : " On no part of the con- 
tinent over which I had then, or have since traveled, was so 
numerous an Indian population, subsisting upon the natural 
products of the soil and waters, as in the valleys of the San 
Joaquin and Sacramento. There was no cultivation of the soil 
by them ; game, fish, nuts of the forest, and seeds of the fields, 
constituted their entire food. 

There are but few now left in the country, and an Indian is 
now rarely seen. As the valleys were occupied and fenced, the 
usual modes of Indian hunting and living were cut off. Quar- 
rels were frequent with the settlers, who claimed to have had 
cattle stolen, and the Indian was sure, on general principles, to 
receive severe punishment. 

The census of 1880 gives the Indian population as follows: 
Merced County, seven; Stanislaus County, twenty-seven; Mari- 
posa 174- Tuolumne, 347; and the greatest number in Hum- 
boldt County, 1,950. In the entire State 16,130. Half-breeds 
are included in all the above. 


The aboriginal population of the counties now forming Me - 
ced and Stanislaus, instead of making the advances towards 

vnlion that many of their sister .tribes in the sou ern 
clvuli . . morlo n-, rn u(rh the instrumentality 

rr^=-^o;h:, have wa.ed away, 

rsu^r;mt-"on\he Stanislaus-, near 
Sght's Ferry, all the rest having died out entirely. 

The following account, from the Argm, shows the manner 
in which the Indians have been exterminated :- 

« On Sunday morning, January 27, 1879, at an early hour, 
an Indian encampment, called Maripoita, some five miles below 
the town of Mariposa, was attacked by a party of wmte men, 
and in a very short time all the Indians were securely ted, 
when the work of hanging, beating, and shooting of the defense- 
ta. creatures commenced. One Indian was hungup by the 
neck and shot with rifles and pistols until he was dead. The 
mother was also killed, together with four or five men, and one 
woman severely wounded by a rifle-ball, and the remainder o 
the poor, cowering, defenseless Indians, little and b.g of al 
ae es were severely beaten and left with then- hands ted 
blind them, in which condition some of the poor wretches ran 
to Mariposa, and gave information to the authorities. 

•■While the wounded and dying wretches were weltering in 
their blood, some of the perpetrators of this most crueh heart- 
hs and wanton butchery sought and desecrated the house of 
God by their presence, if not prayers. 

* Coroner's Jury was summoned and testimony taken. 
The following persons were arrested: E. G. Laird, and his son 

Samuel Laird, John Hale, Charles Crow, Hendricks, 

Na Green, and Fred Holt. Laird attended church the same 
ly The accused men have a great many influential and 

honorable friends." m urderers, but it is 

We have no account of the trial 01 iu<» 
S a£e to say that they were never punished as they deserved. 



Merced County Common 

First School, Present Condition, Taxes, Teach- 
ers, Private Schools, Financial Reports, etc. 


County Superintendent E. T. Dixon says : From the min- 
utes of the Board of Supervisors, I find that no Superintendent 
of Schools was elected at the first election of county officers in 
Merced County, November 1856, and that S. H. P. Ross was 
appointed County Superintendent in February, 1857, by the 
Board of Supervisors ; but no record of his official accounts 
can be found. 

B. F. Howell elected Superintendent in 1S58. 
Rev. Burnett elected Superintendent in 18G0. 
F. J. "Woodward tendered his resignation as Superintendent 
of Common Schools of Merced County, which was accppted, 
a,nd R. B. Huey, was appointed to fill the vacancy. (1862.) 
H. B. Huey elected Superintendent in 1862, re-elected in 


T. O. Ellis filled by appointment the unexpired term of H. 
B. Huey, resigned. 

T. O. Ellis, elected Superintendent in 1865, M. C. Monroe 
appointed to fill vacancy by resignation of Ellis. 

S. H. P. Ross elected Superintendent in 1871, and died before 
the expiration of his term. The office was filled by the appoint- 
ment of J. K. Law, who held the office until 1873, when L. 
D. Stockton was elected. 

E. T. Dixon was elected in 1879. 

There is no record of the Superintendent's office until the 
year 1865, when I find there were four school districts in the 
county viz. : 

Jackson District, census children 52 

Pioneer 81 

Jefferson 214 

Merced Falls " " " 41 

Total 3S8 

The salary first paid Superintendents was S200 per year. 


The following is an account of a visit by the editor of the 
Bomner to the school at Snelling. 

July 10, 1S62, we had the pleasure of witnessing the exam- 
ination of the pupils of the district school at this place. That 
quaint little school house, the notched desks, the water pail 
and rusty tin cup brought back to our mind pleasant memories 
ni our "-irlhood days, and again we lived over those romping, 

innocent hours. As the several classes were examined in the 
various branches, each showed signs of studious scholarship. 
Miss Mary Fitzhugh won the prize— a copy of Byron. 

We regret that there was but one prize offered, as we think 
that ther°e were others equally deserving, according to their 
opportunities. Mrs. Lake, a lady of some sixteen summers, 
acquitted herself.with much credit, and her modest demeanor 
excited the admiration of all present. 

After the classes in Natural Philosophy, Grammar, Arithme- 
tic and Spelling had been examined, several young misses and 
masters appeared in recitations and dialogues. Of course we 
were treated to that very familiar composition—" On Linden, 
when the sun was low," and many other fine productions, 

among which was , by Miss Mary Fitzhugh. In 

this recitation Miss Mary gave evidence of superior talent as a 
delineator of the feelings of the human heart, and we venture 
to say that with a little cultivation Miss Mary would become 
a fine reader. 

We have before us two compositions, one entitled " Charac- 
ter," written by Mrs. Aunie Lake, the other, "Prejudice," by 
Miss Fitzhugh, both of which are highly creditable, and we 
would take pleasure in publishing them but for the fact that 
they are too lengthy for our columns. 

There were many well-educated and talented persons pres- 
ent, and all seemed perfectly satisfied with the advancement 
made by the students in the several branches of their studies. 
We would suggest to those interested in the education of the 
rising generation the propriety of retaining the services of Mr. 
Fowler, or some other good teacher. 


It would seem from the following article, taken from the 
Banner, published at Snelling in 1862, that the rawhide was 
used to a considerable extent : — ^ 

"For some time past, we have heard complaints of cruel, 
unnecessary punishment being inflicted upon children in school, 
in this town, by our village pedagogue, with a large-sized cow- 
hide. We examined the rawhide ourselves, and upon measur- 
ing it,- found it to measure three feet two inches in length, and 
full three-fourths of an inch at the butt end. We have been 
compelled to stop sending our children to school on account of 
the cruel punishment one of them received with the instrument 
of torture, at the hands of the apology of a teacher, and we 
understand that several of our neighbors have taken their chil- 
dren away from school for the same cause. We have been 
informed that one little girl, aged about six years, received so 
severe a whipping on the hand, with the cowhide, that for sev- 
eral days she could not use a knife or fork at the table. 

These are grave charges to make against a school teacher, 
and we would not make them against the teacher in this place, 
were we not assured from positive testimony that they are true. 




It may be interesting to many of our citizens to know some- 
thing about the condition of our schools, and their financial 
prospectsfortheensuingschool year. We have nothing encour- 
aging to present, however important the subject. 

The revenue of the county applicable to the support and 
maintenance of schools being one-half less per cent, than that 
of the preceding school year, reduces the fund so much that 
its value, relatively, is merely nominal. This act of our Super- 
visors is to be very much regretted. 1 am aware they were 
prompted to this purely from motives of public and private 
economy How far such action may atfcct the proposed result 
I will not here take space to discuss. But one thing seems 
very reasonable to the candid and impartial mind, and that is, 
if we should ever manifest any liberal disposition on matters 
either of a public or private character, our schouls ought not to 
receive the least of it. 

It is certainly very desirable that our schools should be 
liberally sustained. We have in our midst a very interesting 
young population growing up, and it should not be the east i 
our :Zz as a county, to provide ample means tor their edu- 
cation It is in these cherished associations that thy, in a 
great measure, receive the impressions which form the basis of 
their future character and usefulness. 

Me eed County reports 267 children, which, at ninety cents 

eacWould entitle her to .240.30. This distributed among 

htfour districts, W* be, Jefferson District, 134 children, 

eh, 160.40 ; Jackson, forty-two, a, ninety cents each, ^80, 
and Merced Falls, thirty-five, at ninety cents each, S31.0 

Total, §240.30. Superintendent for 

There has been reported to the ^oun y v e^o/v? 

to December S, 1862, the sum of SS13.07, 

*• a Tn the awrecate the county fund will 
yet to be apportion ^ la the ag B ^^^ 

probably reach $1,000. ^^ Superm tendent of Schools. 
January 10, 1863. 


H, of the 400 little boys and girls m om county 
worh of the * tl . ai „ing -that mental and 

ar e looking up to u aUainMe to ^ fey car „ 

m0 ral culture winch is only jxrj J w6Mn t 

rym goutand.ihera.,ysuppor ing on h . ^^ 

0{ hum an institutions ,**> free and e ^ ^ 

-^rj'-t?^ -3 shut ymr 

yet all-powerful and ever-present monitor, conscience, coupled 
with a sense of parental duty, will exercise the mind and influ- 
ence the heart, producing many unpleasant feeling*. 

If you wish jour children to have an education that will 
make men and women of them, then come forward and help 
us to raise our schools to a first-class standard. Let us infuse 
into them a spirit of activity, that will encourage a vigorous 
course of instruction such as will make itself both seen and 
felt in the daily rounds of business, in society, and amid the 
family circle; that will expand the mind, cultivate the virtues 
of the heart, bring peace and consolation, and impart solid 
enjoyments and sunshine to the decline of life. 

That this may be accomplished, it is necessary that we have 
the means to keep our public schools open eight months in the 
year, and that we neglect none of the essentials to render them 
comfortable and attractive. When this is done, it is equally 
as important that the pupil have all the advantages possible to 
attend regularly. Punctual attendance alone will lead to suc- 
cess They should be instructed to be diligent, obedient and 
studious, and to consider no task as impossible. 

By pursuing this course, with an active, energetic, and com- 
petent teacher at the helm, we may anticipate a **-£-£ 

dimly seen. 

Forlorn Hope, February 4, 18G3. 


In pursuance of the call made by the County Superintend- 

:ic^^= e "ffH^ 
^t:;:^^—:!.- to order 

h KBH« Superintendent of Schools, who, after express- 
7 v \ 2 for Lin. the honor to preside over a meeting 
ing his thank, tor hax ^ ^^ 

convened for such a nohle purp ^ ^^ 

a te remarks w,h vegaid £ the b^ ^ & pr0 ^ 

Uon was called, and expressed 

corresponding w .ft i fl P ^ ^ ^^ 

sl U be presented he ^ ^ ^ ^ ^^ . 

„d aeuon. At the e & ^ ^ ^ ^ 

motion was -J^"^ in ^sing the order of. 

tir "" Xn"„animously agreed to proceed to the 
business, when « . ^y^. A 

P— fc OTS r; Ll M. Fowlei and seconded by J. W. 
motion was made by -to- the Merced County 

^T^I— "Z^-ethenmadebyC.S.Hateh, 
' e t e Lak:Tw. Longwith, and the President, on varrous 
Ejects reUing to schools and education. 




The first Examining Board was appointed by T.O.Ellis in 
IsST-Wtew.: jJge J. W.Robertson, Rev. J. 0. Pender- 
gast, S. K. Spears and J. C. Breen. 


The Count, Bo., of Education metat the «£*££ 
CT Lachevs were examined and granted certfficates o f qua - 

"w^e first Board o£ Education ever organised in the 
county, be which Dr. EUis deserves the thanks of the peop fc 
The subject of common schools in our county » one of much 
intent and one which has heretofore been comparatively neg- 
lected. We shall allude to the subject hereafter. 


The Institute was held November 15, 1872, by S. H. P. 
Ross, Superintendent-the following teachers present , : F. M. 
Bamsey B. F. Fowler, N. Z. Woodward, F. L. Chapman, 
Marian McSwain, Mrs. F. H. French, Fannie Ward, Mrs. A. K. 
Brand, Ella S. Nunn, M. Howell, and J. F. MeSwain. 


to exercise a general supervision over schoc ,1s, and to v 
the Commissioners of Common Schools, School Marsha s and 
teachers such "aid and counsel as might be important to the 
prosperity of the schools." In 1855 they were required to ad 
the School Trustees in the examination of teachers-a duty 
which would have been rather hard to perform m case wo or 
more Boards of Trustees bad held examination at ten o clock of 
the same day. County Superintendents are required: To appor- 
tion al, school moneys; to report to the State Supennt nde n 
on the blanks furnished; to fill all vacandes in the Boa, ds f 
Trustees by appointment; to draw ^^'^"^ 
on the school fund; to visit schools; to preside over Teaches 
Institutes, and to secure the attendance thereat of competent 
lecturers; to issue temperorary certificates in certain cases, 
when authorized by the County Board of Education; to pre- 
serve all school report,, and to grade the school, The County 
Superintendent is « <#oio Secretary and member of the Board, 
of Education. 


Since the laws have demanded a higher standard of qualifi- 
cation among teachers, the schools of the county and of the 
State have improved. But there is another reason for this 
increased efficiency. It is found in the more liberal proves 
for paying teachers' wages out of the public funds, i. e m the 
increased taxation for school purposes; for itisastrueof teach- 
ing as of any other profession, that a small salary wdl rarely 
secure the best talent. 

The last Institute convened in Merced, April 6, 1880 E. 
T Dixon Superintendent in the chair; J. L. McClelland, 
Secretary The following-named teachers were present: 
M. Howell, R. Gracy, John York, Jr., A. M. Chadwi* R F. 
Fowler, J. C. Boynton, Z. T. Smith, W. P. Kclsey, J.L McClel- 
land W A. Long, L. D. Stockton, James A. Norvell, Robert 
Taylor, Mrs. May White, Mrs. Jos. A. Norvell, Miss May 
Tackett Miss L. P. Swain, Miss Nettie Spangenberg, Miss 
Sadie Lynch, Miss Laura Collier, Miss Hattie Collier, Miss Sad* 
Price Miss E. V. Spencer, Miss Vinnie Phillips, Miss Mary 
Shaver Miss Alice Garison, Miss Elma Garison, Miss Rose 
Tompkins, Miss Mary Ragsdale, ana Miss Laura McEarland. 

The Institute remained in session three days, during which 
time many subjects of interest were discussed, and the time 
W as passed pleasantly as well as profitably to all. Professor 
Allen, of San Jose, was engaged to lecture on the occasion, but 
W as prevented at the last moment from coming. 


The powers of the County School Superintendents arcgreater 
than they werein the beginning. At first they were requrred 


According to the school law in 1352, towns, cities and vil- 
lages were designated as school districts. In 1855, each city, 
toL or township constituted a school district until otherw*e 
determined by the Board of Supervisors. By the law of 1S66 
each county or city or incorporated town was declared a school 
district unless otherwise ordered by the Board of Supervisors 
The law of 1878 also declared that every county, city and 
incorporated town formed a school district unless subdivided 
by the Board of Supervisors. The law of 1880 defined a school 
district as did the law of 1878. 


No new district can now be formed unless the parents or 
guardians of at least fifteen census children, resident of such 
Proposed new district, and residing at a greater distance than 
two miles from any school house, present a petition to the 
County Superintendent, to be by him transmitted to the Board 
of Supervisors, nor can the boundaries of any school district be 
changed except on the petition of ten heads of families residing 
in the district affected by the proposed change. 










Prepared by E. T. Dixon. 




= - f- 

S £ i 




Anderson . . . 
Applinv .... 
Bear Creek. . 


Clay. . ., 

Charleston . . 



Fair View. . . 
Hopeton .... 
Jefferson .... 
Livingstone . . 
Live Oak . . . 
Lone Tree . . 
Los Baiios . . . 


Merced Falls 



Mariposa. . . . 
McSwain . . . 
Occidental . . 


Plainsburg . . 




San Luis 

San Joaquin . 
Savana .... 
Mendezabel . 

J.N. Harder . ... 
E. R. Appling. . . . 
H. C. Wolfson ... 
A. B. Munsnn .... 

C, S. Johnson 

Jas. Cunningham. 
Chas. Bainbour . . . 
Thos. F. Kerr. ... 
Win. Eoberson. . . 

Jno. Lester 

Win. Little 

W. C.Turner.... 

E. J. Olds 

E. B. Field 

H. E. Reynolds . . 

S. A. Smith 

E. M. Stoddard . . 

E. Kelsey 

W. F. Clark 

J. L. Hutchings . . 
N. B. Stoneroad. . 

Job Wheat 

Mrs. M. D. Swain 

J. D. Bradley 

R. Reynolds 

A. Lander 

M. Rahilly 

G. Galbreath 

G. B. Neighbor.. . 

B. W. Jetfers 

R. W. Hammond . 

A. Welch 

R. H. Parrish 

D. L Silman . . . . 


Buchanan, F. Co 



Hill's Ferry .... 


i lharleston 

Hill's Ferry .... 


Mill's Ferry . . . - 




La Grange 


Central Point. . . 


Merced Falls. . . , 

Los Baiios 


Plainsburg .... 
Merced ..... 


Hill's Ferry 
Plainsburg .... 





Los Banos 



Los Banos 

























































1324 605 973 326 1394 





County Boards of Education were created by the school law 
of 1880, in conformity to the new Constitution of California, 
adopted in the previous year. They supersede, at once, the for- 
mer County and State Boards of Examination, and exercise some 
of the powers of the State Board of Education under previous 

laws. _ .. 

The County Board of Education has power: To prescribe 
and enforce rules for the examination of teachers; to examine 
applicants for certificates, and prescribe a standard of profi- 
ciency to prescribe and enforce the use of a uniform series 
of text-books; to grant certificates, and revoke certificates 
granted by themselves, for immoral or unprofessional conduct, 
or for evident unfitness for teaching ; to adopt a course of study 
for the schools of the county, and to adopt rules and regula- 

tions for their own government. A County Board of Education 
has even power over the matter of educational and life diplomas, 
for the law provides that the application for an educational or a 
life diploma, must be accompanied by a resolution of a County 
or a Local Board of Education recommending that the same be 


By the law of 1852 the Assessor in each county was ex officio 
County School Superintendent. In 1855, a change was made, 
and the order of things then established has been adhered to in- 
most counties to the present day, i. e,, since 1855 they have 
been elected as other county officers are. 

County Superintendents are, according to the new Constitu- 
tion of 1S79, elected at each Gubernatorial Election. 



Climate as Affected by Wind : 

Healthfullness, Humidity, Air Currents, Rain- 
fall, Temperature, Meteorological Table, etc. 


THERE is one subject upon which the true Californian never 
wearies of dilating — " the climate." Be it in the ice-bound 
regions of the Sierras at midwinter, or in the heat and mid- 
summer of the great valleys; in the fogs of the coast, or in the 
sand-storins of the plains, he will assort " it is the finest climate 
in the world." 

Climate, more than any other one property, determines the 
comparative and intrinsic worth of a country for habitation. 
Every other condition may be, to a less or greater degree, altered 
by human agency; climate remains a steadfast servant to its 
mistress, Nature. The soil may be unfruitful ; timber wanting; 
the waters unfit for use; man remedies such defects, and nations 
are planted in the midst of these adverse surroundings. 
Climate, unaltered, outlasts the labor of races. 

In the location, then, of a permanent settlement and the choice 
of a home, climatic conditions form the first and chief factor. 
Men pierce the frozen barriers of the north or brave the wast- 
ing torrid heats in pursuit of wealth, only that they may dwell 
in comfort where the seasons come and go mildly. Human 
adventurers are not bound by frost and heat ; and yet homes 
are not made of choice too near the extremes of either. 

Enough seasonable variation exists to make the race vigor- 
ous, to produce grains and fruits of the finest quality, and the 
best varieties of domestic stock. At the same time out-door 
labor sutlers little interruption by reason of weather stress. 

The must dense population, the highest intelligence, and the 
most general prevalence of the useful arts, are found along 
those isotherms opposing the fewest rigors of climate to be over- 
come. Here, too, national and individual wealth are accumu- 
lated in the largest abundance. For physical discomforts require 
less expenditure in food, clothing, and shelter, and thus subtract 
less from the sum total of labor, leaving a maximum to be 
added to the individual and general capital. The north tem- 
perate region, accordingly, affords resources for the highest indi- 
vidual and national welfare. 

Reference to the geographical position of Merced County will 
indicate at once the general character of its climate. Situated 
near the center of the State, between latitude thirty-seven and 
thirty-eight, north, we find it in the same latitude with the 
southern portion of the States of Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Ken- 
tucky, ami Virginia, and in a corresponding latitude with the 
following counties of Europe, Spain, Portugal, Lower Italy, and 

Upper Greece. Blodgett says: "The elastic atmosphere and 
bracing effect of this climate constitute a striking difference 
from those of the Eastern States. All residents concur in pro- 
nouncing it more favorable to physical and mental activity than 
any they have known." 


To realize the advantages of our climate, we have only to 
compare it with the climate of other States and counties. At 
Cincinnati, in January, the minimum temperature is ten degrees, 
that is, ten degrees below zero, or forty-two degrees below the 
freezing point, or, as we say, forty-two degrees of frost, whereas, 
in most of the valleys in California, and particularly here in 
this valley, we do not have more than two degrees of frost, and 
snow never, except in two instances within the last ten years, 
and then only enough to cover the ground, and remaining only 
a few hours. 

The mean temperature in Cincinnati, in January, is twenty- 
one degrees, Fahrenheit, indicating that the average day in that 
month has eleven degrees of frost, while the average January 
day here, is at least twenty-two degrees warmer than in Cincin- 
nati. "At Richmond, Virginia, in the same latitude with us, the 
minimum temperature in January is two degrees, that is, two 
degrees above zero, being something like forty degrees below the 
greatest cold observed here in the same latitude. There are 
other important points in our favor when compared with the 
other side of the continent — the difference in the temperature 
of the summer nights, which are oppressively hot in the Atlantic 
States, and so deliciously cool and pleasant here as to secure 
refreshing slumber. 


One reason of this is the difference in the atmospheric moist- 
ure, which has a great influence upon comfort in hot weather, 
and which effects all climates. The air is so dry here that the 
perspiration is carried away rapidly, leaving the body cool and 
refreshed, but with our Eastern friends, the abundance of moist- 
ure prevents or checks evaporation, and there is more discomfort 
with a temperature of ninety-eight degrees there than with 
110 degrees here. 

"When people there are suffering with prostration from sun- 
stroke, we here find comfort, and safety in the gentle breeze 
which fans our cheeks, and wipes the perspiration from our 
bodies, leaving us cool and refreshed, and beyond the reach of 
the sun's most oppressive heat. 

Our climate rivals that of Lombardy with its rich fields of 
the olive, the fig, and the grape; that of Nice, with its mild 
and salubrious air, sought as it is by the thousands of health- 
seekers from all parts of the world; that of Dijon, the cham- 
pagne regions of France and Italy, and Naples, whose sunny 
skies and balmy breezes have been the subject from remote ages 
of many a poet's song. 



A traveler, on learning that the San Joaquin Valley is not in 
the snow zone, naturally looks about for the cause of such 
remarkable mildness of climate at that latitude. He sees on the 
west the Coast Range, a spur of a mountain system with an 
altitude from 3.0(H) to 5,000 feet; on the east the Nevadas from 
6,000 to 9,000 feet high. There is thus formed a natural 
barrier, shutting out much of the cold northers, and inclosing 
a body of measurably isolated air tending to hold an i.-\-l-ii tem- 
perature. But the great chief cause of our year-long summer, 
is that portion of the Japan current turned towards the coast, 
and skirting it from Victoria to ' fenfcral America, 


the animal system, and to render, in a measure, a hardy condi- 
tion of plant life. At no point between tin- Rocky Mountains 
and the Black Sea, do we find the snow line at so high an 
altitude as on the Sierras. 

There is, therefore, the unusual sight witnessed hero, nut seen 
within S.O00 miles eastward on this parallel, of a flora peculiar 
to two zones. The nutritious fruits and grains of the temperate 
belt, aS'Well as the rich products of the semi-tropical plants, 
here, side by side, mature and ripen in due time. Nor is tins all. 
Fruits, grains, and flesh, keep sweet fur a season seldom equalled 
in the excessive heat which prevails at times during the mid- 
summer. This could occur only in places having an extremely 
low humidity. 

. A more salubrious and healthful climate cannot be found in 
the State than right here. There is comparatively little sick- 
ness, and when it does prevail it is owing to other causes than 
the climate. In some of the mining districts, where the water 
is conveyed in ditches, and used for mining and irrigating pur- 
poses, chills and fever have become prevalent. But even this j 
form of malaria vanishes before the cool, invigorating, and ■ 
healthful breezes of the valley. 

The good constitutions, the sturdiness of limbs, the perfect I 
symmetry of the forms, and the bloom of health upon the cheeks, j 
of our children, furnish the best evidences of the influences of 
our climate. 

It has been said that we Californians are great boasters I 

about our climate, our resources, etc., and that our stories are j 

all myth, in other words, that we "blow" about these things, j 

and exaggerate everything. That is a mistake. We have never 

had one-half the justice "done us that we are entitled to. The 

wonderful resources of many of "our counties are not known, 

even among ourselves. The superiority of our climate is no idle 

boast of ours. It has been mentioned by many noted travelers. 

The London Spectator says the climate of California and of 

Tasmania are the "nearest perfection in the world." Brace says, 

» It is the most exhilerating." Samuel Bowles says, " There is a 

steady tone in the atmosphere like draughts of champagne." 

Robert Von Schlaginteit says, " It is like Italy's climate, except 

that it is not so enervating;" and I have already quoted what 

Blodgett in his" Climatology of the United States" has to say 

upon the subject. 


While this is true of a temperate zone, it is in many respects 
especially true of the San Joaquin Valley. There are disadvan- 
tages of a serious nature, it is true, but the general chmatic 
condition is favorable to industrial pursuits above almost any 
other locality of equal latitude. The snow limit is tar above 
the valley, and while the effects of a rigorous winter are never 
felt there is still enough of cold to give a bracing reaction to 


Our map of the " Wind Currents of the Pacifie Coast," will 
show the Japan Current, and also serve to explain our article. 
The whole coast is similarly affected by a like cause operat- 
ing on the northwest coast; while the eastern coasts of like 
latitude have winters of severe rigor. These conditions readily 
account for the temperature of the valley, which seldom falls 
below 27°, and rises frequently tu 110° in the shade during 

The mean annual temperature at Merced, lor the year, is 
63° 68'; a temperature approaching closely that of the Florida 
Peninsula, and having near the fortieth parallel no correspond- 
ing average on the Eastern Continent west of the Black Sea. 

The warmth of this climate in winter is due to the set of the 
Kuru-Siwo, or Japanese Gulf Stream, against the coast (see 
chart in the front part of this work), as does the Atlantic Gulf 
Stream against the coast of Great Britain. Its bracing coolness 
is due to the constant prevailing winds of the coast, which 
blow from the northwest, impinging upon the mountains 
along the coast and following the direction of the ranges. 
These ranges are generally sufficiently lofty to bar the ingress of 
the northerly sea-breeze into the interior. But at San Fran- 
cisco and several spots near there, gaps are made by the out- 
flowing of water-courses, or depressions, and the winds sweep 
in. The speed of these winds is accelerated in the day-time, 
in summer, as they rush inland; accelerated because the bright 
sun sets the plains glowing, and rarefies the air, and sends it 



The winds have a material effect upon our climate. Lying 
as we do in the sub-tropical zone, in thesummcr we have the sea- 
winds from the west and southwest, in the winter the variable 
winds with predominating anti-trades from the west. 

Local winds also enter into the modification of our climate. 
Usually in the summer-time, towards evening, a gentle breeze 
reaches the valley coming from the ocean, and continues to 



blow during the evening, when the overheated land cools off 
rapidly to a temperature below that of the sea. This breeze 
travels all the way across the valley, and has much to do in 
equalizing its temperature, rendering the nights deliriously cool 

and pleasant. 

In March, the north winds generally prevail. They sweep 
down over the valley, depriving the air of its moisture, and rap- 
idly drying the ground. 

Fogs occur only occasionally, and then in the winter time; 
generally they do not hang over us long, disappearing as sud- 
denly as they came. 

A vast store of sea-breeze, tonic and invigorating, is drawn 
through the tunnels, such as the Golden Gate, and distributed 
over the counties adjacent to tide- water. Just at the point 
where it rushes in, it is likely that the climate is too raw for a 
delicate person, but after it has been toned down by passing 
over a few miles of radiating ground, it makes a most delicious 
climate. For the reason that the breezes named are, to a cer- 
tain extent, laden with moisture, the localities named are not 
all to be recommended to persons suffering from pulmonary 
troubles; not to be recommended as compared with localities 
protected from those breezes, or not lying in their track. 

The degree of heat is largely affected by the winds; a lower 
register being had for the south wind, though in the winter 
months a north wind is, at times the coldest of the year. The 
temperature of some of the leading places on this coast, will be 
found in the following: — 



Sacramento. . 




Tehama .... 
Bed Bluff... 




Stockton . . . 
San Diego . . 
Los Angeles 























Lowest Temperature Bbown by 
thermometer in any year. 

















46.21128— December, 1849 
45 .88 27 — January, 1871 
45.49 26— January, 1874 
48.70:27 — December, 1876 
45.19 23— December, 1872 
47.0123— December, 1871 
48.29 26— December, 1873 
46.7227— January, 1876 
48 14-23— January, 1876 
47.6922 — December, 1874 
47.4321 — December, iS72 
53 31^0— December, 1854 
58.95 39— December, 1876 
45. 2 3 2 4— January, 1877 
48.25i24 — December, 1374 
46.5327 — December, 1874 


In the great basin of the San Joaquin, the process of heating 
and cooling, of atmospheric rest and motion, is carried on dur- 
ing summer with almost the regularity of the ebb and flow of 

the ocean tide. Near the coast, and stretching along for hun- 
dreds of miles parallel with it, this immense valley is effectu- 
ally cut off, by the Coast Range of mountains, from the air of 
the sea, during the latter part of the night and fore part of 
the day while the atmospheric equipoise is undisturbed by 
local rarefication. But as day advances, and the sun warms 
and heats and rarefies the reposing atmosphere of the valley, 
the equilibrium is at length temporarily destroyed; and soon 
after midday, the heavy, cool sea-wind, put in motion, and 
hurried on to restore nature's disturbed balance, comes sweep- 
ing up the outlet of the valley, and through the passes of the 
Coast Mountains with uncomfortable force and frigidity. 
With no obstacles to impede or deviate its course, it pursues 
the broad line of the great river of the south, fresh and cool 
gratefully tempered and moderated as it commingles in its first 
meeting with the soft, warm air of the interior, and spreads 
out over the wide expanse of green tides in which the valley 
terminates. In this way, by a law of nature, the whole basin 
is filled daily, during the summer, with the invigorating 
atmosphere of the ocean, aided somewhat in the night by the 
descending cool air from the snowy crests of the Sierras. 
With a temperature thus equalized, and an atmosphere thus 
daily refreshed, the valley of the San Joaquin possesses a clim- 
ate eminently conducive to both the comfort and the health of 
man. The climate of California has been not inappropriately 
compared to that of Italy in the equability and agreeableness 
of its temperature. No equally extensive section of the State 
possesses in so eminent a degree those desirable climatic char- 
acteristics which justify this favorable comparison, as does the 
valley of the San Joaquin. 

As we leave the ocean and go inland, the influence of the 
trade-winds decreases, and the heat of summer and the cold of 
winter increases. The sea-breezes make the winters warmer, 
and the summers cooler. The ocean breezes seem to lose their 
influence over the winter at twenty miles from the ocean, but 
their influence over the summer weather extends much further- 
inland. Sacramento is near the central wind-gap of the Golden 
Gate, whence the breezes blow into the interior basin ; and the 
temperature of July is seventeen degrees less there than at 
Fort Miller (Fresno county), and nine degrees less than at Fort 
Reddino-, which two points are near the southern and northern 
extremities of the basin respectively. 

In the Sierra Nevada, the element of altitude comes in to 
affect the climate, and especially to prolong and intensify the 
winters. The higher portions of the Sierra rise to the limits 
of perpetual snow, and the climate there is, of course, arctic in 
its severity, the thermometer falling below the freezing point 
every night in the year. The mining camps are mostly situ- 
ated in deep ravines, where the wind has little opportunity to 
blow, and the heat of summer in midday is very oppressive, 
even at an elevation of five or six thousand feet, but the nights 
are always cool. 




Another effect of these sandy plains is to create a daily sea- 
breeze from the southwest return trade-winds that prevail on 
the coast as surface winds during the summer months. Each 
day, after the sun rises over these great plains, they become 
heated and increase the temperature of the air over their sur- 
face; this air rises, and as the whole current of cool air is from 
the ocean on the west, it rushes in to fill the vacancy. 

A gentle southwest wind may be blowing on the coast at 
night or in the morning; by eleven or twelve o'clock the full 
force of the sun's rays is felt— the gentle breeze has increased 
to a brisk wind, and continues until evening. After the setting 
sun has withdrawn his rays and the sandy plains have radiated 
its heat into space, the gentle southwest wind resumes its 
sway until the next day, when, from the same cause, the high 
wind is again repeated. 

Dr. Gibbons, in an article on the climate of San Francisco 
in the Smithsonian report of 1854, says: " Whatever may be 
the direction of the wind in the forenoon, in the spring, sum- 
mer and autumn months, it almost invariably work, round 
towards the west in the afternoon. So constant is this phe- 
nomenon that in the seven months from April to October, 
inclusive, there were but three days in which it missed, and 
these three days were all rainy, with the wind from the south 
or southwest." He adds: «I cannot discover that in any 
other spot on the globe the wind blows from one octant 186 
days, and from the opposite octant only six days in the year. 



In regard to the healthiness of the valley, to say nothmg 
of the sanitary effeet of the rapid desiccation and cunng of the 
1st spontaneous vegetable productions when the dry season 
commies, this daily atmospheric current is constancy sweep- 
nTaway in their- recipiency the miasmatic exhalations and 
Silent fermentations which might mcuhate and 

„ ^—-XlnuIftrZvrol rare and disin- 
Ep.denncs and J J«t ^ ^ o£ 

f to Tnds to Z Z development of pulmonary affec- 
SLTdEl - ^respiratory system, which the chilling 

nd harsh winds of the coast are liable to provoke. 
^ ; rL valleys and pleasure resorts of the moun tarns 
r -n>A fipld for those in search of health, oi pleas 

ure . The who! B suc cession of beautdul 

eastern boundary oi Mta y ^ (cafions m 

nrountam scenery. Th y ^ ^ ^ 

^"f' Tit X m untain sides, often to their summits, arc 
bered; wh 1st the mo ^ ^ ^ 

S— ■ ™^f it evergreen , gives to «,e slope of these 
m ountains a dark green appearance. 

The cause of those hot desiccating north winds which occa- 
sionally sweep over the valley in the summer-time, have not 
been generally understood. They are caused by the fact that 
the Sierra Nevada and Cascade Mountains reach the coast of 
Alaska, and bend like a great arm around its western and 
southern shore, thus shutting off' or deflecting the polar winds 
that otherwise would flow down over Oregon and California. 

As it comes south it ie heated by coming into warmer lati- 
tudes, its capacity to take up moisture is increased, but it finds 
none in its course. The Cascades, which are a continuation of 
the Sierra Nevada, direct it into the Sacramento Valley, where 
it meets still greater heat, which the more increases its capacity 
for moisture. It therefore possesses all the desiccating qualities 
for which it has become famous. 

This dry air as it passes over the dry hot surface of the 
plains is unable to obtain moisture, as is the case when north 
winds blow in the rainy season. Winter north winds are, by 
being charged with moisture, cool enough to suit the most 

exacting demand. 

The theory that these winds come from Arizona is not ten- 
able as the mountain formation precludes such a movement 
without extraordinary forces in the case, a condition for which 
there is no known reason. 


Southerly winds are rain winds, northerly ones are dry, yet 
there are rains sometimes with a north wind, but these are of 
only short duration as a rule. The prevailing seems 
(monthly) to be equally divided; during the twenty-erght 
months (since July, 1877) it was from the north and no.*- 
west fourteen months, and south andsoutheast tourteen months 
yet during the dry months, from June to October, the prevart- 
ing wind is northerly in proportion as two to one. 

An easterly or northeasterly wind is of the rarest occurrence, 
and never.or hardly ever, happens except when a change from 
a northerly to a southerly direction, or the reverse takesplace. 
Thehighest hourly velocity was forty-seven m.les, e« 
pressure of 11.0* pounds to the souare foot, a aepbyr (b» »° •* 
Washoe one) when compared with an hourly ve oerty J 
— pressure of 173 pounds to *■*««£- £ 

...JdrTti: sinal station at Mount Washmgton^w 
Hampshire (which building has to be chained to the rocks, 


is the north wind. During the sprm a 

;;'-"*"« »"••■■••■ 



a wind from the north does not cease under three days, though 
thoy sometimes last during a single day only, and much oftener 
extend during a week, rarely several weeks. 

The Repress, in 1880, said: » For the past week and over a 
norther prevailed through the San Joaquin Valley, to the great 
dismay of many ranchmen. That much of the grain, especially 
on the alkali lands, has suffered materially, there is no doubt; 
in fact we learn that much of it is already parched and dried 
up entirely. The grain which is now in the milk on these 
alkali lands, will be shrunk up so as to render it entirely value- 
less except for hay. This wind has been the only dread the 
farmers feared, and had the valley been fortunate enough to 
have escaped that, the yield of grain would have been simply 
marvelous. At present writing the indications are that the 
wind has spent its force and is over. We learn that on the 
sandy soil, embracing the largest area of our county, the harm 
done is comparatively small. 

The north winds are remarkable for an extremely low 
humidity or moisture, reaching often as low as eighteen. Dur- j 
ing their prevalence there is a general feeling of depression in 
the animal spirits, and plants suffer largely. Growth of vege- 
tation is retarded, and fruits and grain suffer in form and sub- 
stance, wheat just coming into the milk state being especially 
injured. The exceeding dryness of these winds is readily 
accounted for by well-known atmospheric conditions. That 
portion of the upper current which descends to the earth at 
very high latitudes has as a consequence precipitated moisture 
to the possible limit. 

As before observed, those surface winds have been reduced 
to the lowest state of humidity in their appropriate zone, and 
with a rapid motion and low temperature they traverse the 
portion of the second zone north of our inclosing mountains. 
When those currents descend into the San Joaquin Valley the 
temperature is measurably raised and capacity for moisture 
largely increased. They thus come to us as unusually dry 
winds, so dry indeed in some instances that the land and water 
surfaces, animals and plants, are called upon to lose the surface 
moisture to an extreme degree in quantity and rapidity. To 
such facts are those depressed feelings experienced by most 
living things within their influence due. The winds are 
freighted to some extent with electrical properties, but not to 
that degree often supposed. The nervous uneasiness often felt 
during °the northers does not come from the presence of elec- 
tricity, but is an affection in the animal system caused by 
overactionin the tissues and excessive evaporation from the 


Temperature has much to do with our comfort and health. 
It is true that man may live in almost any climate on our 
globe by the aid of clothing, shelter, food,, and other artificial 
heats. But it is certainly more pleasant and conducive to lon- 

gevity to live in a climate where the minimum of such aids «e 
nectary; where it is not required to spend one-half the year 
Separations to keep from freezing and starving the other 

^Neither is a tropical climate the best, as it fosters indolence 
by an excess of heat, and need of an occasional cold and stim- 
ulating air. The tropical climates in addition are usually pro- 
lific in° diseases, and the atmosphere is rare and humid, produc- 
ing and favoring debility. 

One would therefore prefer a climate medium in these . 
respects. It should be warm enough and only enough to 
require but little confinement in doors. There should be range 
enough in temperature to give variety, and not enough to shock 
the human system by sudden changes of heat or cold, humidity 

or dryness. 

Out-door life here is practicable at all seasons and almost 
every day in the year. Oppressive heat is seldom felt, and 
nothing colder than a slight frost during the coldest mornings 
of winter. During all the summer months, from April to 
November, there is steady temperature. 

To a person who has spent all his life in one place, it is diffi- 
cult to convey a clear idea of the differences of climate, and of 
the advantages of a climate like that of California. One 
accustomed only to the clouds and showers of Ireland, or to the 
hot summers and severe winters of New York, has no proper 
conception of the influence of the clear sky and dry atmosphere 
of the San Joaquin Valley, or the even temperature of San 
Francisco, upon the general comfort. The differences of eleva- 
tion and latitude give, within a comparatively short distance, 
all varieties of climate, from sub-tropical to polar. 

There are within the boundaries of our State many different 
climates. At San Francisco in summer it is absolutely cold, 
whilst within three hours' travel by rail, in the interior, 
toward the San Joaquin, you reach a region where it is, in the 
daytime, absolutely hot. 

Snow is very rare on the coast and in the valleys, and never 
remains on the ground in the valleys, except in the extreme 
northern part of the State. The Sierra Nevada Mountains, 
above an elevation of S,000 or 9,000 feet, are generally covered 
with snow the entire year, and in many mining towns there 
are several months when snow remains on the ground. Hail 
rarely occurs in California. 

A marked phenomenon of the climate is the comparative 
absence of thunder and lightning, which rarely occurs, except 
in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, where thunder-storms are 
often as severe as in the Atlantic States. A residence of fif- 
teen years has not witnessed thunder loud enough to disturb 
one from a noon-day nap. The coast and valleys of California 
are remarkably and wonderfully free from all violent storms 
of any nature, which occur so frequently east of the Rocky 
Mountains. Wind, hail and thunder-storms, so frequent in the 
Atlantic States, never occur here. Sand-storms sometimes 



occur in the southern part of the interior basin, but of lees 
violence than in Colorado. 


The season of rain in this section may be said to commence 
in October and end in May, though it sometimes rains in June. 
It is rare that it rains longer than two or three days at a time, 
and the intervals between rains vary from a few days to a 
month or six weeks. Old Californians consider the winter the 
most pleasant part of the year. As soon as the rain com-